Foraged raises $2.7M in seed funding
The Washington D.C.-based company makes it easy for consumers to buy wild and specialty foods from independent foragers and farmers
Washington, D.C., July 12th, 2023 –– Foraged, the marketplace for wild and specialty foods, today announces $2.7M in seed funding. The round was led by Bessemer Venture Partners with participation from Yelp co-founder and CEO Jeremy Stoppelman, StubHub co-founder Eric Baker, Shopify President Harley Finkelstein, and Fiverr founder and CEO Micha Kaufman. This follows a previous investment from Gramercy Tavern co-founder and Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio, and brings total funding to $3M. Foraged will use this capital to enhance its suite of tools and features to deliver a more seamless and robust platform for buyers and sellers alike in the online marketplace.
Last year, American consumers saw the largest annual increase in food prices since the 1980s, due to inflation and global supply chain disruptions, among other issues. But while wild and specialty foods are rising in popularity and the global mushroom market alone is poised to be worth $78.9B by 2024, market fragmentation makes it difficult to buy and sell them.
Launched in May 2021, Foraged empowers small-scale food producers––like independent farmers and foragers––to grow sustainable businesses while nourishing everyday people with easy access to naturally occurring foods. Over the past year, Foraged has experienced more than 400% revenue growth from customers in all 50 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico. The number of repeat customers has also increased more than 1,000% year over year.
"Mainstream awareness of wild foods has been quietly, but intensely growing over the past few years. More people than ever have discovered that there are alternatives to the local supermarket," said Jack Hamrick, co-founder and CEO of Foraged. "This funding not only validates the potential of our platform but also moves us closer to realizing our vision for the food system of the future -- where consumers can discover and connect with independent food producers in a more meaningful way."
Before Foraged, small-scale food producers were confined to local farmers markets or faced with the arduous undertaking of manually setting up and managing their own website, which presented a high barrier to entry. With Foraged, they can access an end-to-end, turnkey solution for their business that handles everything from shipping (especially for perishable goods) to secure payment processing via Stripe to a mobile app for messaging customers, uploading photos of products, and managing local pickups. Now, vendors can seamlessly enter the ecommerce market and instantly get discovered by tens of thousands of new customers from all over the country -- in turn allowing consumers to access rare foods never before available online.
The Foraged team is made up of professionals from the technology, culinary, and sustainability industries, including alumni from Apple, Squarespace, Anheuser-Busch, and the EPA. The team also features a Michelin-experienced chef from Noma. Foraged is trusted by home cooks across the country, in addition to a collection of Michelin-starred restaurants and James Beard award-winning chefs like 2023 winner Rob Rubba.
“Bessemer is excited to lead this financing round," Jeremy Levine, Partner at Bessemer Venture Partners said. "We believe in Foraged’s mission to empower independent food producers and provide consumers with a unique shopping experience. Foraged has reimagined the way consumers think about where and how they get their food."
Foraged is a marketplace for wild and specialty foods. Founded in 2021 by Jack Hamrick and Andy Conner, Foraged makes it easy for consumers to buy wild and specialty foods from independent foragers and farmers. The company has raised $3M from Bessemer Venture Partners, as well as Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio, Yelp co-founder and CEO Jeremy Stoppelman, HotelTonight co-founder Sam Shank, StubHub co-founder Eric Baker, Shopify President Harley Finkelstein, and Fiverr founder and CEO Micha Kaufman. To learn more, visit www.foraged.com. For visual assets, please visit this link.