Bristol-based food tech company fresh-range has smashed a £300,000 crowdfunding target within 24 hours.
The firm claims it is redefining how food is fulfilled by sourcing directly from local farmers, fishermen, makers and bakers then delivering to both retail and catering customers.
“The response from the crowd is thrilling. It is clear investors see the compelling need for an alternative approach to food supply,” said CEO Rich Osborn, who was named a BBC Local Food Hero Finalist in 2016.
“They’ve shown faith in the fresh-range team’s ability to deliver it. The campaign is now overfunding.
“We’d like to keep the round open a little longer to enable interested local investors to own shares in the company that serves them.”
Fresh-range was co-founded in 2014 by brothers Rich and Steve Osborn along with friend Lee Butler and is now scaling fast as it aims to disrupt the £97 billion UK food industry with its sustainable approach via short and fast supply chains.
Tom Horbye, senior campaigns associate at Seedrs, said: “We are delighted that fresh-range reached its £300,000 target on Seedrs in little over 24 hours.
“This is a fantastic achievement and we wish the team all the best as they continue into overfunding.”
Until this week, fresh-range has been entirely funded by the founders who have committed over £1 million of investment.
They hope to use the cash injection to make ethical buying from local producers as convenient as it is from mass retailers; and also to boost consumer awareness and usage with a sustained marketing campaign.
“There’s lots of talk about locally-sourced food, but the reality is that very little actually happens in the retail and catering channels because it’s too difficult for customers and producers to manage,” added Rich Osborn.
“Now, fresh-range’s technology and local food infrastructure is making it simple to source from small independent producers alongside major produce suppliers.
“We launched fresh-range in the Bristol and Bath area, where thousands of people are now eating locally sourced food supplied by fresh-range each week.
“Dozens of local food producers and suppliers have joined the fresh-range platform, cutting out financially and environmentally expensive mass haulage and storage and earning the majority of the retail price paid.
“This calendar year the company plans to more than triple 2016 sales with £1milllion annualised revenue forecast in 2017, and I am excited to be launching this campaign as one of our next steps in creating food security for generations to come.”