When I lived in London last year I used to get really excited when I saw a pale pink van pull up outside my flat. Because inside that van was a selection of local, (mostly) organic vegetables, fruits, cheeses, and bread from ethical grocery delivery service Farmdrop.
Yesterday Farmdrop raised £10M ($13.3M) in a Series B round from investors including the founder of Skype, according to the Guardian. This brings their total funding to £17M ($22.6M). Founded in 2014 by Ben Pugh, an ex-broker, the London-based company plans to use its funds to expand to the north of England and double their delivery area. They currently deliver to London, Bristol, and Bath.
According to their website, 80% of Farmdrop’s produce comes from within 100 miles of their delivery radius. Their meat is all free-range, and at least 70% of the price of each head of lettuce or grass-fed burger goes back to the producer. According to Pugh, the average retailer only pays farmers at most 50% of the final price. And if that weren’t enough, Farmdrop’s vans are also electric!
In addition to fruit, vegetables, and meat, Farmdrop offers more variety than, say, an Imperfect Produce or Good Eggs. The 2,000 products on offer also include organic home cleaning products, baby food, pantry staples, beer and wine, and bakery items.
By eliminating wholesalers and retailers from the supply chain, Farmsdrop is able to offer high-quality food at a price that is pretty competitive with big retailers — and it hasn’t been sitting on a shelf for days on end.
Farmdrop doesn’t require a subscription or a minimum spend (though they do add £4 to any order under £30). Customers can choose a 1-hour delivery window for a small fee (it’s free if their order is over £80), or else select a 6-hour time slot. The day before delivery, the driver will send an updated 60-minute window for their arrival.
Clearly Farmdrop doesn’t have the instant gratification or convenience of a 2-hour Amazon/Whole Foods/Albertsons/etc grocery delivery. (The fastest turnaround they have is next-day delivery, which is available for orders before noon.) However, their recent raise signifies that there are enough people that don’t mind dealing with a little extra inconvenience in exchange for ethically sourced, high-quality produce.
For those who don’t want to/don’t have time to trek to the farmers market but still want to buy local foods, Farmdrop, like Good Eggs and Farmstead in the U.S., is a good option. Though it seems they have updated their van aesthetics.