Organic food is all the rage today. While there is no shortage of it in grocery stores, it’s still not the quite same as picking the produce right from the farm. GrubMarket is a Newark-based startup (with offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles) on a mission to conveniently make fresh and healthy food accessible to everyone while helping to grow local businesses. As other companies int the space fold and cut back, as of last week their marketplace model has another $20 million to expand and compete with the likes of Amazon Fresh and big box grocery.
Unlike standard delivery services such as Amazon Fresh and Google Express, GrubMarket is a marketplace that, with the help of a smartphone app, connects consumers directly to local farms, fisheries, commercial kitchens and restaurants to deliver fresh healthy food for up to 50% off the standard pricing found in middle-men-heavy grocery stores.
A business can create an account on the marketplace for free and in just a matter of minutes. GrubMarket handles all the shipping and logistics (they ship anywhere in the US); the business pays a 20 to 25 percent commission on the sale while customers pay anywhere from $0 to FedEx shipping fees, depending on what they order, from where they are ordering it, and how quickly they require delivery.
Going beyond just offering organic food, GrubMarket is a one-stop shop for virtually any type of healthy food. Organics, vegan, paleo, non-GMO, and gluten-free are a few of the types of goods accommodated by the service. Additionally, they also stock home supplies, snacks, pantry supplies, pet food, produce, and much more.
In addition to their vast selection of products, GrubMarket also offers the “Grub Box,” a subscription-based home/office delivery service for seasonal farm products, produce, meat, and healthy snacks. Customers have the option to receive their shipments once, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. There’s also an “Enterprise” version which is available to companies within the San Francisco Bay Area. The Grub Boxes are selected by the company, include free shipping and require no long term commitment. Some of the packages are: organic fruits, healthy snacks, vegan pantry supplies, meat, poultry, and college care packs.
In addition to the web interface, there are both Android and iOS versions of the GrubMarket experience. Using the apps are extremely simple. Users simply enter their zip code and they can immediately view the available inventory near them. Instead of going the subscription route, users have the option to make one-off, direct orders.
While the service at a high level is appealing to small businesses and convenience-driven, health-conscious consumers alike, the real secret sauce is in its operational innovation. In a conversation with TechCrunch, one of the investors in GrubMarket, Abe Burns, said, “Using data to create logistics coordination and efficiency has not been seen before in this market. What’s wholly disruptive about the company is not the rudimentary technology, but the way it’s applied.” In addition to delivering to consumers, the service also makes money from bulk food sales to restaurants.
To date the company has raised just over $32M in three rounds from fifteen investors, including Sound Ventures, Global Founders Capital, Riverhead Capital, GGV Capital, Fosun Group, and Danhua Capital.
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