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AZ Tech Beat | May 24, 2017

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Farm-to-table meal service raises $4.5M, expands to AZ

Farm-to-table meal service raises $4.5M, expands to AZ
Chloe Nordquist

Meal delivery service Sun Basket combines two markets — the demand for fresh, non-GMO groceries and the delivery system to provide these items to a customer’s door.

The startup raised $4.5 million last month from 25 investors in its first round of funding. The operation began in January 2015 and has been growing 17% a week since their beta launch in late March.

We had a huge pickup,” cofounder and CEO Adam Zbar said. “We’ve been inundated with demand. We are building a much larger facility that will help us scale.”

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The money from the raise has helped in hiring more top executives for the company, as well as expand the service and build a larger facility.

The San Francisco-based company serves the western United States and expanded to seven states, including Arizona.

“Specific to Arizona, the interesting thing that we’ve seen is if you do a geographic plot, you’d think most customers would be in the center of phoenix,” Zbar said. “But we serve 50 to 70% in Arizona, and other states we ship to, in the suburban area.”

The service delivers weekly. Right now, Sun Basket isn’t specifically sourcing from any Arizona farmers or ranchers, but they are looking into it.

“There is huge room for growth to build great companies in this space that “do good” for people’s health while still creating a great business model and return for investors,” Zbar said.

READ: DoorDash delivers favorite food on-demand, launches in PHX

Food tech startups like Sun Basket and others are becoming disruptors in the traditional grocery market, which is a 600 million dollar a year industry.

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“It’s actually fresher than the market,” Zbar said. Sun Basket gets products from the ground and packs it for customers to receive in two to three days, whereas the process for grocery stores can average 15 days from farm to customer, according to Zbar.

Users can also shop by need or category, such as paleo, gluten free, proteins, or fruits. “That makes it easier to plan and shop,” Zbar said.

Arizona is the 3rd largest market out of the 8 Western States that Sun Basket currently serves.

“I think what we’re doing in places like Phoenix is we’re also serving the family that’s a little farther outside the urban core where the farmers market is not quite as close but they still want fresh food,” Zbar said. “From my visits to Arizona, I’ve sensed a strong culture that values the outdoors, healthy living, and environmental sustainability. As those are Sun Basket’s values, we’re excited to continue to build our business in Arizona.”

For more funding coverage, click here.

Photos courtesy of Sun Basket