Farmdrop raises £7 Million in Series A funding led by lead backer from £3M 2016 raise, Atomico
Monday 24th April
The amazing community that makes up the Food Tech industry is so important to us here at YFood and since the inception of Food Tech Wednesdays four years ago, we’ve been getting our kicks from watching its members start and grow incredible industry-changing businesses. One such Food Tech pioneer is Farmdrop founder Ben Pugh and as a longtime Food Tech Wednesdays attendee and previous speaker, we’re really excited to share his news that Farmdrop has secured £7 million in funding with the help of Venture Capital firm Atomico.
Ben, former Morgan Stanley stockbroker, founded Farmdrop in 2014 when he spotted an opportunity to simplify the food supply chain using mobile technology. The company, which provides a peer to peer grocery platform uses a mobile app to connect farmers, growers and producers directly with local customers. By cutting out the middleman, Farmdrop pays producers 75 per cent of the final retail price.
Sales at Farmdrop have increased by over 600% since the company raised £3 million in seed money back in January 2016, in a round also led by Atomico, and the company reached annualised revenues of £3 million earlier this year. Incremental upgrades have also been made to the service, with the launch of a next-day-delivery option in March 2017.
The company has plans for expansion and will use the funds to help launch hubs outside of London, with the first hub to launch in Bristol later in 2017. The funding will also be used to improve the overall customer experience and develop new technology for farmers to manage their own inventory.
The round includes several investors from previous rounds, including Atomico, Farmdrop’s founding investor Quentin Griffiths, the co-founder of Asos and Alex Chesterman, the founder of Zoopla Property Group. The number of previous investors involved in this round highlights Ben’s relationship with the investors, the traction Farmdrop has recently gained and the belief of the investors that Farmdrop can deliver an alternative food supply chain across the UK.
One of the biggest names among the new investors includes Nigel Wray, businessmen and chairman of Saracens Rugby club.
Here’s what the investors are saying:
Niklas Zennström, co-founder of Skype and CEO of Atomico:
“Atomico likes to invest in companies looking to tackle some of the bigger sustainability challenges our planet is facing. That is why we’re incredibly proud to have led Farmdrop’s second investment round. They are deploying innovative technology to simplify the food chain and meet the growing demand for more sustainably sourced, local food. We’re excited about helping them achieve their ambitions for new hubs across the UK and improving the overall customer experience.”
Alex Chesterman, serial Angel investor and one of Farmdrop’s earliest backers:
“The food industry is ripe for disruption and as an investor I look for great teams, improving efficiency in a given marketplace. Farmdrop is a great example of a business delivering a better consumer experience and better outcome for suppliers as a real alternative to the supermarkets.”
Quentin Griffiths, founding investor of Farmdrop, comments:
“Farmdrop is uniquely placed to provide customers with the best quality fresh food at competitive prices, unrivalled information on the provenance of that food, and a premium online grocery shopping experience. So thanks to this latest investment I know everyone at Farmdrop is very excited that many more people across the U.K. will soon be able to benefit from the Farmdrop experience.”
Here’s what the Founder Ben Pugh has to say:
“Farmdrop has created a convenient and flexible grocery service with a fraction of the capital available to our competitors. With this latest investment, and the new expertise on board, we can dramatically improve the customer experience and start to expand to other cities across the UK. There is also huge uncertainty in the farming industry after Brexit, and our expansion will give many smaller British producers the option of a more profitable route to market.”
Find out more about Farmdrop: https://www.farmdrop.com/
So please join us in congratulating Farmdrop on this phenomenal news! This is the first of many more Food Tech Investment announcements to come so if you have any big news you’d like to share with us and the Food Tech community, be sure to let us know and get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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