Brandless Raises $240M, Kroger Launches Grocery Delivery Service + More

Source: Groupon

Every week we track the business, tech and investment trends in CPG, retail, restaurants, agriculture, cooking and health, so you don’t have to. Here are some of this week’s top headlines.

Three major investments were made this week to challenge traditional players in the F&B space. Brandless scored $240 million from SoftBank’s Vision Fund. Apeel Sciences raised $70 million from Viking Hedge Funds. Bulletproof 360, the science-based food and beverage product maker, secured $40 million led by CAVU Venture Partners. In addition, Nestle is piloting its baby food line, Gerber, on the blockchain.

In retail news, a new study has found that online grocery shopping accounts for 5.5 percent of total grocery spending in the US. Kroger is capitalizing on this growth with the launch of its new delivery service, Kroger Ship.

Check out our weekly round-up of last week’s top food startup, tech and innovation news below or peruse the full newsletter here.



1. This No-Brand Startup Won $240M to Fight Amazon on Price and QualityBloomberg

SoftBank’s $100b Vision Fund invested in Brandless, valuing it at over $500m. The company sells about 300 home-goods staples, mostly for $3 each.


2. Nestlé Blockchain Test Traces Ingredients from Suppliers to the Mouths of BabesWall Street Journal

Nestlé SA is putting some of its Gerber baby food products on the blockchain, part of a wider food-industry exercise aimed at improving food recalls by using the technology behind bitcoin to trace ingredients worldwide.


3. Grocer Kroger Launches New Delivery ServiceTechCrunch

Kroger Ship will allow shoppers to stock-up on necessary non-perishables and get deliveries as quick as the next day. It will first launch in cities across the Midwest and South.


4. Hedge Fund Viking Invests in Battle to Keep Avocados Ripe LongerBloomberg

The $26b firm led a $70m fundraising round for Apeel Sciences, which has now raised a total of $110m as it pitches its products to grocers. The latest investment will help accelerate the company’s work across avocado, citrus, berry, stone fruit and asparagus categories.


5. Bulletproof Secures $40M in Funding Led by Cavu VenturesFoodBev

Other participants in the round included Trinity Ventures, an early Starbucks and Jamba Juice investor, and Silicon Valley Bank. Funding will go towards expanding its product line.


6. Online Grocery Reaches 5.5% of Total SalesFood Dive

Nearly 30% of US households buy groceries online, and most of the near-term growth in online grocery spending will continue to come from this group. Over the past year, online shoppers increased their weekly online spending from 28% to 46%.


7. Starbucks Partners with Alibaba on Coffee Delivery to Boost China BusinessTechCrunch

The partnership is wide-ranging and it will cover delivery, a virtual store and collaboration on Alibaba’s “new retail” Hema stores. Starbucks will work with to allow customers to order and receive coffee without visiting a store.


8. US Foods to Buy Five Food Businesses for $1.8B – Wall Street Journal

The five businesses include Food Services of America Inc, Systems Services of America Inc, Amerifresh Inc, Ameristar Meats Inc and Gampac Express Inc. The companies together brought in $3.2b in net sales last year.


9. Grubhub Shuts Down Eat24 – Skift Table

The shutdown won’t be finalized until later this year, after the majority of Eat24 users have migrated over to Grubhub’s platform. Diners were not sufficiently attached to the Eat24 brand.


10. What Is a Genetically Modified Crop? A European Ruling Sows Confusion – New York Times

In Europe, plants created with gene-editing technologies will be stringently regulated as GMO’s. But older crops whose DNA has been altered will be left alone.


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The post Brandless Raises $240M, Kroger Launches Grocery Delivery Service + More appeared first on Food+Tech Connect.

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