SF’s Full Harvest Bags $8.5M to Help Sell “Ugly and Surplus” Produce
Full Harvest, an online market for imperfect produce that previously would have been thrown out, announced it has raised $8.5 million in a Series A round of funding.
The funding was led by Spark Capital and includes investors such as Cultivian Sandbox Ventures, Rent the Runway co-founder Jenny Fleiss, and John Scherr, head of strategic partnerships at CircleUp. Full Harvest raised $2 million in seed funding last year.
The San Francisco-based startup was founded in 2016 with the goal of reducing food waste, especially the $20 billion in “ugly and surplus” produce that Full Harvest, citing U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data, says gets tossed just because it wouldn’t win a beauty contest. “Our customers are food and beverage and consumer package goods companies, food processors, anybody that can buy in bulk and don’t care what it looks like,” says Christine Moseley, Full Harvest’s founder and CEO. “They’re going to juice, cut, blend, or cook it in some way.”
In the two years that Full Harvest has been in business, the startup says it has brokered sales of nearly seven million pounds of produce from large farms. “More than 60 percent of farms are on the verge of bankruptcy,” she says. “They don’t have the resources to invest in a new market so we’re an incremental sales force for a product they didn’t have a way to sell.”
Full Harvest uses technology to connect producers largely on the West Coast, and some in Texas and Colorado, with buyers. The company arranges the transportation in between the two for a cut. The process saves buyers between 10 percent to 30 percent in costs and is more efficient, Moseley says. “They saved 96 percent of the time [formerly spent] on procurement, working offline with five to 10 distributors over the phone, email, or text,” she says. “Now you can place an order in 60 seconds; it’s an Amazon-like … Next Page »