Fifteen minutes is the new hour, or so it seems in the grocery delivery game. New York City startup Fridge No More announced today that it has closed a $15.4 million Series A round of funding. The round was led by Insight Partners with participation from existing investors including Altair Capital.
Fridge No More operates small, hyperlocal delivery-only grocery stores and currently serves the Williamsburg, Park Slope and Gowanus neighborhoods in Brooklyn. Typical Fridge No More stores are roughly 2,000 – 3,000 sq. ft. and house just 2,000 SKUs. The delivery radius for each store is approximately one mile, and done on scooter or bike by actual store employees. Orders are placed via iOS or Android app and are manually picked, packed and delivered to the customer within fifteen minutes.
In addition to providing super fast service, there are no minimum orders and no delivery fees. Fridge No More is able to do this because they don’t spend a lot of money on the stores themselves. Since dark stores don’t service in-person customers, they can be tucked away in cheaper locations like basements or other odd spaces, there is no checkout that needs to be set up and there are no cashiers to pay.
Another benefit of creating these smaller stores is that they can tailor the inventory to that particular neighborhood. Fridge No More doesn’t need to stock everything, it can figure out which items sell the most and stock those.
As we’ve covered previously, the online grocery sector has been getting a lot of love from investors this year. Online grocery related startups around the world are raising lots of money. In fact, this is our second grocery e-commerce related funding announcement today (Stor.ai raised $21 million).
As we’ve also covered before, the big reason for this is the pandemic, which forced a lot of people to shift from in-person shopping to more contactless online grocery shopping. And with online grocery sales projected to reach $250 billion by 2025, I’m sure we’ll be covering a lot more announcements over the rest of this year.
One aspect worth noting is Fridge No More’s name. Obviously its hyperbole, but if these types of super-fast grocery services catch on, how will they change grocery shopping (at least in dense urban areas where a one-mile delivery radius contains a ton of business). Will people stock up on less and just have speedy delivery on speed dial? Will they just make multiple orders throughout the day if they forgot or suddenly need something?
More New Yorkers will find out soon enough as Fridge No More will use its new funding to scale up operations in that city, before moving into more locations on the East Coast.