The Chicago-based company eyes expansion of its self-serve kiosks, which offer fresh veggie-centered salads, sandwiches, and wraps in office buildings, co-working spaces, and other places where busy folks might want a quick lunch on the go.
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This round is among the largest Innovation Endeavors has led in the past year, which has been a time of transition for the firm founded by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt. In the last year, the firm raised a new fund, merged with another firm, and dealt with a leadership transition, as Crunchbase News has previously reported.
Farmer’s Fridge, which currently has its self-serve kiosks located throughout Chicago and Milwaukee, netted some local capital in this round. The Chicago-connected investors include:
- Cleveland Avenue, a venture firm founded in 2017 by Don Thompson, the former CEO of McDonald’s Corporation.
- DNS Capital, the family office of Gigi Pritzker.
- Dom Capital, a food and foodservice-driven venture firm founded by the heirs of Dominick’s, a now-defunct chain of Chicagoland grocery stores.
- Hyde Park Angels, a prolific angel investment network.
Other investors included Finistere Ventures, GreatPoint Ventures, and Danone Manifesto Ventures, the venture arm of the French yogurt giant which recently invested in a German at-home water filtering and bottling startup called Mitte.
The Chicago Tribune reported that the company currently has about 185 machines throughout Chicago and Milwaukee, and it said Farmer’s Fridge intends to add another 225 fridges by the end of the year.
Founder and CEO Luke Saunders told the Tribune that the new round of funding will help expand its Chicago workforce and help Farmer’s Fridge add 400-500 more fridges across Midwestern cities like Cincinnati, St. Louis, Detroit, and Indianapolis by the end of 2019.
According to Crunchbase data, this is the largest Series C round closed by a Chicago-area startup since Next Capital also closed $30 million in January 2018.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias