Farmdrop gets £3m backing from Skype and Innocent Drinks founders

Marketplace which lets people buy food directly from farmers will use investment to take on the supermarkets and "fix the food chain"

On-demand farmers’ market Farmdrop has secured £3m in a round led by Atomico – Skype co-founder Niklas Zennström’s investment firm – with involvement from Innocent Drinks and JamJar Investments founders Richard Reed, Jon Wright and Adam Balon.

Zoopla’s Alex Chesterman, Founders Forum’s Jonathan Goodwin, and ASOS and ACHICA co-founder Quentin Griffiths also backed the round.

Launched in 2014 by by Ben Pugh and The Crowd founder Ben Patten, Bermondsey-based Farmdrop is an online marketplace which lets users buy food directly from local farmers and producers with an aim to take on the supermarkets and “fix the food chain”.

The start-up claims to have grown its customer base by over 230% year-on-year and has a fan base of high-profile names including TV chefs Thomasina Miers and Gizzi Erskine.

The investment, which will be used to develop its platform, follows an oversubscribed £750,000 crowdfunding round in August 2014 which saw the business attract support from 359 investors in exchange for 27.75% equity offered.

Farmdrop’s Pugh commented: “The food industry in this country is completely broken with too much power belonging to a selected few who treat farmers and producers badly, whilst offering consumers chemically-preserved, tasteless food.

“We believe everyone deserves a more delicious world and this investment will help us continue to improve the product and spread the word about the Farmdrop revolution.”

Zennström continued:

“Farmdrop is demonstrating huge ambition by disrupting the established food chain and addressing the growing concerns many of us have about the quality and provenance of our food. We’ve been extremely impressed with the team and their growth so far so we’re proud to become an investor.”

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