Online grocery platform Farmdrop has secured £7m in a Series A round led by London-based venture capital firm Atomico.
Farmdrop, founded in 2014, uses a mobile app to link producers and customers directly, claiming to “cut out the middleman” by paying producers 75% of a product’s final retail price.
The firm says it will use the investment to fund new distribution hubs outside London – with an opening in Bristol planned for later this year – and to develop new technologies for farmers to manage their inventories.
New investors include John Reynolds, the founder and CEO of predictive typing service SwiftKey, and Nigel Wray, chairman of Saracens Rugby Club. They join existing investors Alex Chesterman, founder of Zoopla Property Group, and Quentin Griffiths, founder of clothing company Asos.
Ben Pugh, founder of Farmdrop, said the £7m investment will allow the company to “dramatically improve the customer experience and start to expand to other cities across the UK”.
“There is huge uncertainty in the farming industry after Brexit,” he said, “and our expansion will give many smaller British producers the option of a more profitable route to market.”
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Niklas Zennström, CEO of Atomico and co-founder of Skype, said he was “incredibly proud” to have led the Series A round.
“Atomico likes to invest in companies looking to tackle some of the bigger sustainability challenges our planet is facing. That is why we are incredibly proud to have led Farmdrop’s second investment round.”
He added: “We’re excited about helping them achieve their ambitions for new hubs across the UK and improving overall customer experience.”
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