From Farm to Mouth: Local Food Sourcing Companies Bring the Goods
With the beginning of the New Year comes a spate of well-meaning resolutions, often including a plan to eat better.
Startups have heard that call and are developing ways to give customers better access local produce and goods. The companies use easy order forms, mouth-watering photography, and convenient pickups or delivery to ensure that the process is easy and enjoyable for consumers. For farmers, these sites cut down on middle man costs and waste by guaranteeing set demand on delivery days. Consumers are not the only ones hooked on these services; venture firms have jumped in to fund these companies. Here a few of highlights:
- Good Eggs is the best known of the bunch, covering San Francisco Bay Area, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. The site allows users to order a variety of produce, dairy, meats, baked goods, and other staples from local producers. Founded by Rob Spiro and Alan Salant, Good Eggs has raised funding from Sequoia Capital, Harrison Metal, Baseline Ventures, New Island Capital, and Correlation Ventures.
- RelayFoods has a similar model to Good Eggs, with local food ordered in a central site and delivered to customers. The company is currently focused on the Mid-Atlantic, including Baltimore and Washington. RelayFoods has received funding from Battery Ventures.
- Plated claims to cover 80% of the continental US with its recipes and ingredient boxes. The company has chefs design recipes then delivers boxes with all the needed ingredients (with a focus on local foods) to consumers. The company has raised funding from ff Venture Capital, Lerer Ventures, Founder Collective, and Great Oaks Venture Capital.
- Farmigo is a provider of software to allow farms to run CSA programs with consumers. In addition, the company is expanding to include a direct-order service for consumers to have more flexibility in ordering local foods. The company has raised capital from Sherbrooke Capital, Benchmark Capital, and RSF Social Finance.
- AgLocal is tackling the market for responsibly-raised meat with its service. The company partners with cafes and restaurants to source responsibly-raised meat and is currently focused on New York. AgLocal has raised funding from Dundee Venture Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, OPENAIR Equity Partners, Artists & Instigators, and Serious Change Fund.
- Provender is also providing a marketplace for chefs, this time focusing on produce. The company has raised funding from angel investors.
The i3 platform tracks corporate and venture capital investments across 18 sectors of resource innovation, including the Agriculture & Food sector. Activity in this market looks to be laying the foundation for serious growth:
Given all of these choices, there are plenty of options for finding healthy, local food. The companies also add another piece to the sustainable agriculture chain. From big data and sensors for precision agriculture, to food distribution and local food sourcing, agriculture has become an area of interest for investors and corporates alike. If you’d like to discuss this topic further, request an invitation to our February 14 Power Breakfast, “From Farms to Foodies: Innovation in Agriculture and Food Distribution.”
Time: 8:30 – 11:00 AM
Location:Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
650 Page Mill Road
Palo Alto, CA 94304-1050