Bristol-based food fulfilment company, fresh-range.com, opened up a crowdfunding investment campaign on Seedrs this Monday, and in within a span of a day, exceeded it’s £300,000 target from crowd investors. Fresh-range was co-founded in 2014 by brothers Rich Osborn and Steve Osborn along with friend Lee Butler, and is now on the growth path to scale up. In what the company estimates is a £97 billion market, Fresh-range is offering an alternative, and more sustainable approach fresh grocery deliveries, with short and fast supply chains by sourcing from local farmers, fishermen, makers and bakers directly. These food products are delivered to retail and catering customers in the private and public sector.
In 2016, CEO Rich Osborn became a finalist in the BBC Local Food Hero competition for his work to bring the UK’s food industry back to basics. “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,” Osborn said. “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.”
“The response from the crowd is thrilling. It is clear investors see the compelling need for an alternative approach to food supply,” Osborn added, commenting on the company’s 24-hour fundraise. “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.”
Until this week, fresh-range has been entirely funded by the founders who have committed over £1 million to growing the company. Now that the technology and the concept have been proven, the next step for fresh-range will focus on making ethical buying from local producers as convenient as from mass retailers, and marketing directly to retail customers.
“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. Now, fresh-range’s technology and local food infrastructure is making it simple to source from small independent producers alongside major produce suppliers.”
This calendar year, the company plans to more than triple 2016 sales with £1 million annualised revenue forecast in 2017, according to Osborn, guided by the company’s ultimate goal in creating food security for generations to come.