Farmdrop, the UK-based online grocery-friendly online grocery platform, raised £ 10 million in new funds. New investors in this Series B include LGT Impact Ventures (described as a growth equity investor who invests in companies making a positive contribution to the company), and Belltown Ventures, a specialist in renewable energy investing with interests in agricultural technology. Former sponsor Atomico also followed.
Founded by former broker Ben Pugh in 2014, Farmdrop was originally launched as a "click and collect" service that allows you to order products online at any time. grocery store with a local collection point. However, the company has since pivoted to door-to-door delivery, but with the same basic idea of a market that bypasses mass supermarkets. It claims to give consumers much more fresh produce, and farmers-producers a more generous share of the retail price. Large supermarkets are known to have pressed suppliers to lower prices while maintaining their own profits, after all.
"The fundamental problem is that the dominance of the supermarket over the last fifty years has put tremendous downward pressure on producer prices," Pugh told me when Farmdrop increased its Series A. "In this environment, the only option was focused on yields and sustainability, which resulted in a sharp decline in the taste and nutritional quality of food grown in the country."
To this end, Farmdrop says it now sells more than 2,000 products ranging from meat, dairy products, fish, organic fruits and vegetables, to household goods and home wares. eat. It states that 80% of its fresh produce comes directly from 208 "sustainable farmers and independent food manufacturers" and that since 2014, startup has generated more than 5 million pounds of income for small UK farmers.
The new capital will serve to fund a further expansion in the UK after the successful launch of a second hub in Bristol and Bath in September 2017, in addition to London. "Over the next six months, Farmdrop will double the total number of homes it can deliver, initially in the Southeast, but with plans for a Nordic hub in Manchester by the end of 2019" explains the company.
More broadly, Farmdrop is benefiting from the growth of online grocery shopping – even if the online shift is quite slow – associated with a growing demand for high quality products from farmers. A more ethical and sustainable supply chain (Farmdrop also uses electric vans for the last kilometers of delivery). This seems to work too: the startup indicates that it is now on track to reach 10 million pounds of annualized revenue by the end of 2018.
Niklass Zennström, Skype founder and CEO of Atomico, adds, "What we find so fascinating about Farmdrop is the way it uses technology for good." By creating a direct route Farmdrop is helping to create a healthier and more efficient supply chain for the farmers market.We are proud to invest in such a fantastic team and are delighted to help them develop their innovative platform. 39, electronic grocery store. "