Farmdrop, the UK’s innovative startup that brings food straight from farms to the tables of Londoners has plans to expand to other UK cities. Backed by the the founders of Innocent Drinks and Skype, this week will see it launch in both Bristol and Bath, the first two of a predicted twenty hubs within the next three years.
What the firm is offering is a new take on farmers markets, bringing them into the twenty first century with Amazon style online delivery. Now that the model has been running successfully for three years in London attracting 17,000 customers, co-founder Ben Pugh thinks that they are now ready to move on to a bigger scale with the aim of hitting £6 million revenue within the next six months. Speaking to City A.M. he said:
“It’s a really big moment for Farmdrop and one that’s been coming for a long time. Our mission is to fix the food chain, using our platform to create a zero waste food system.
“The fundamental problem is that the supermarket’s dominance over the last fifty years has put huge amounts of downward pressure on farmgate prices. In this environment, the only option for producers has been to focus on yields and durability which has led to a big depreciation in the taste and nutritional quality of homegrown foods”.
In a bid to change this, the Farmdrop platform aims to remove wholesalers and retailers from the supply chain completely. This, it says, enables them to pay the producers of food approximately double to suppliers as to what they would get from the major supermarkets.
“Basically, Farmdrop is creating a profitable route to market for smaller farmers whose sole aim is grow foods that maximise flavour and nutrition. For customers we offer them the most affordable access to the freshest, farmer’s market quality ingredients,” he says.
An Atomico spokesperson said: “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 second investment round. They are deploying innovative technology to simplify the food chain and meet the growing demand for more sustainably sourced, local food”.
As well as backing from Atomico, other backers of Farmdrop include Quentin Griffiths the co-founder of Asos, Nigel Wray, chairman of Saracens Rugby club, Alex Chesterman from Zoopla and Jon Reynolds the Chief Executive Officer of SwiftKey and its founder.
It’s been a good year for the startup. Originally launched in 2014 as a click and collect service, earlier in the year it managed to raise £7 million in Series A funding which has enabled it to follow through with its most recent expansion plans.