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Direct to consumer company Daily Harvest raises $43m: 'The first major innovation in frozen since TV dinners'

By Elaine Watson contact

- Last updated on GMT

To make a Daily Harvest smoothie, users take a pre-filled cup from the freezer, peel off the film, add water or milk/almond milk and pour the contents into a blender, creating a smoothie they can serve in the cup provided, which comes with a lid and a straw so it can be consumed on the move
To make a Daily Harvest smoothie, users take a pre-filled cup from the freezer, peel off the film, add water or milk/almond milk and pour the contents into a blender, creating a smoothie they can serve in the cup provided, which comes with a lid and a straw so it can be consumed on the move

Related tags: Private equity

New York-based smoothie delivery brand Daily Harvest - one of a new breed of online operators targeting time poor consumers prepared to pay for a service that makes healthy eating convenient and easy by delivering customized products to their doorsteps – has raised $43m in a Series B funding round.

The funding round - led by Lightspeed Venture Partners with significant participation from VMG Partners – was also supported by M13, Rubicon Venture Capital, Bobby Flay, Shaun White, and Haylie Duff, and follows a Series A round in June 2017 supported by celebrity backers including Gwyneth Paltrow and Serena Williams.

The latest cash injection will be used to accelerate product development, expand farm partnerships, improve user experience and reach more consumers nationwide, says the company – which was launched in late 2015.

No preparation

Unlike some of the meal-kit delivery companies that private equity firms have been throwing money at in recent years, Daily Harvest​ products don’t require any preparation, says founder Rachel Drori, who has acquired 100,000+ subscribers nationwide and expanded her line of pre-portioned cups to include smoothies, overnight oats, chia parfaits, sundaes, and soups – which are supplied frozen and call all be prepared in minutes.

Unlike some of the more niche snack or gourmet food subscription box services, meanwhile, Daily Harvest's core products – frozen smoothies and breakfast items – are foods target consumers have built into their daily or weekly routine, which has generated solid repeat orders.

When subscribers want a smoothie, they take a Daily Harvest cup from the freezer, peel off the film, add water or milk/almond milk and pour the contents into a blender, creating a smoothie they can serve in the cup provided, which comes with a lid and a straw so it can be consumed on the move.

daily-harvest-cup

Daily Harvest is the first major innovation in the frozen category since TV dinners were introduced in the 1950s... Daily Harvest is one of the fastest growing and most capital efficient e-commerce businesses we’ve seen at Lightspeed.”

Alex Taussig, partner, Lightspeed Venture Partners

No waste

Aside from the convenience Daily Harvest delivers, meanwhile, one of the most appealing aspects of the service is that nothing gets wasted, claims the company.

As anyone that makes their own smoothies - or anything else - from fresh ingredients will testify, Drori told FoodNavigator-USA last year​,​ unless you plan your recipes and grocery shopping with military precision, you’ll end up throwing things out, just because you don't need the whole watermelon, or a whole pineapple.

From a nutritional perspective meanwhile, using fruits and veggies that are frozen as soon as they are harvested means your Daily Harvest smoothie may also pack a greater nutritional punch than ones made with produce that’s been sitting in a grocery store (or wilting in your cupboard/fridge) - for days or weeks, she claimed.

The first major innovation in frozen since TV dinners?

Daily Harvest is the first major innovation in the frozen category since TV dinners were introduced in the 1950s​,” said Alex Taussig, Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners.

“Daily Harvest is one of the fastest growing and most capital efficient e-commerce businesses we’ve seen at Lightspeed.”

Carle Stenmark, VP at VMG Partners, added: “Rachel and the amazing team at Daily Harvest have leveraged their unique business model to quickly adapt to consumers’ lifestyles and preferences, meeting needs and delivering consumer experiences that traditional frozen CPG businesses cannot​.”

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