The epidemic altered how individuals buy necessities like groceries and other daily necessities. After increasing from 3.4 percent prior to the pandemic to 10.2 percent as of 2020, online grocery sales in the United States are predicted to reach 21.5 percent of all supermarket purchases by 2025.
One company that is benefiting from this trend is Mercato, an online grocery platform that makes it simple for specialized food shops and smaller supermarkets to go online. According to the firm, Mercato has officially closed on $26 million in Series A investment after aiding in the growth of its merchant sales by 1,300 percent in 2020.
The investment arm of Delivery Hero co-founder Lukasz Gadowski, Team Europe, participated in the deal, which was led by Velvet Sea Ventures. For the latest round, the original seed investors Greycroft and Loeb.nyc also participated, and Mike Lazerow of Velvet Sea Ventures has now been added to the board of Mercato.
Bobby Brannigan, who grew up working at his family’s Brooklyn grocery business, created Mercato in 2015. Brannigan later departed for college, but instead of taking over the company as his father had anticipated, he bootstrapped a marketplace for college textbooks called Valore Books to $100 million in revenues. Brannigan notes that the man had a very rudimentary website, no e-commerce, no social media, and no point-of-sale system.
In order to construct the software systems to update his father’s store, Brannigan enlisted the aid of certain engineers from his previous business, including the co-founders of Mercato, Dave Bateman, Michael Mason, and Matthew Alarie. The team quickly saw, however, that it might assist more than just Brannigan’s father; it could also help the 40,000 independent grocery stores across the world that are just like him compete more effectively with the Amazons of the world.
The outcome was Mercato, a platform-as-a-service that enables smaller supermarkets and specialized food stores to list their goods online for pickup or delivery. The current system incorporates an e-commerce website and data analytics platform that aids retailers in learning more about their customers’ needs, where they are situated, how to price their goods and other information that enables them to manage their business more effectively. Brannigan adds that Mercato is now working on integrating a supply platform to assist retailers in purchasing merchandise through their platform.
According to Brannigan, the program’s basic goal is to provide the tools, infrastructure, and platform necessary for students to succeed in the modern world.