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Image credit: GrubMarket

GrubMarket bags $145m from BlackRock, others; enters unicorn club

October 25, 2021

Online fresh produce marketplace GrubMarket has raised $145 million in Series E funding. Investors in the round included funds managed by BlackRock, Celtic House Asia Partners, Gaingels, INP Capital, Japan Post Capital, Liberty Street Funds, Pegasus Tech Ventures, Reimagined Ventures, and Walleye Capital, among others.

The round values GrubMarket at over $1 billion, it said in a statement.

The San Francisco-based company aims to streamline the supply chain for fresh produce through its “producer-centric e-commerce platform with clear price advantages for market participants and exclusive producer-customer relationships.”

It links farmers and suppliers to downstream buyers. Its customers include grocers, offices, restaurants, food delivery platforms, and end consumers, among others.

GrubMarket also provides enterprise software solutions to various supply chain players; it claims to be among the leading farm staffing and payroll services providers on the US West Coast, as well as a key provider of community-supported agriculture software which enables farms to sell their produce directly to buyers.

The company says it operates 40 distribution warehouses across North America, covering 14 US states and the Canadian province of British Columbia.

“We have experienced an incredible acceleration of growth in the last 12 months; revenues are up more than 300% over last year, reaching a $1 billion annualized run-rate, while maintaining strong profitability,” said CEO Mike Xu.

“Our software was the fastest growing segment,” he said, “powering up billions of annual business volume for ourselves and our software customers.”

The Series E funds will “turbocharge our software and services growth and extend our e-commerce reach from coast to coast,” Xu added.

“We will increase our investment in people, technology, and acquisitions.”

GrubMarket has been voracious when it comes to M&A; according to Crunchbase, it has made a total of 21 acquisitions since launching in 2014. Its targets have ranged from software platforms to fruit and vegetable suppliers, as well as other agrifoodtech startups. Among its most recent purchases was Farmigo. an e-commerce enabler for farms based in New York City, which it acquired for an undisclosed sum last month.

GrubMarket’s previous funding round was its $90 million Series D in October 2020, which saw BlackRock invest in the company for the first time alongside GGV Capital, Y Combinator, and Japanese trading house Marubeni, among others.

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