25th May 2021 By Bridget O'Connell | firstname.lastname@example.org | @foodtickernz
New online grocery service Supie will be looking to raise capital within 12 months to grow the business after selling out of its Auckland subscription allocation ahead of making its debut delivery this month.
Founder of the direct-to-consumer model, Sarah Balle, said that within a week of launching the discounted subscription offer all of the initial 1,250 memberships across two tiers had been taken up.
The service then went on to make its first delivery to so-called foundation members who paid $199 for three year Supie+ membership – a discount of $435 – which gives them access to more than 2,500 products and free deliveries on orders over $70.
Balle, who had been working on the business for more than two-and-a-half years, brought in a handful of investors in a pre-seed friends and family round to help fund the platform’s development, as well other costs including a lease on a Wiri warehouse distribution hub. Supie partnered with Freightways for distribution, deciding against investing in its own delivery fleet at this stage.
“We have a few awesome people as part of our investment family, they came through connections, and we will be looking to do another round soon because of our growth plans and strategy,” Balle said.
She added that Supie, which was working with an advisory board, would likely undertake a “quiet” second fundraising round by reaching out to key strategic investors, before undertaking a series A round. Balle declined to comment on the quantum so far raised, or future targets.
“Effectively what we have done is prove the business model. We now have over 1,000 members in Auckland – that can scale quite rapidly as we continue to build the tech and our operations. It is all going to be really exciting over the next two to three years.
“Our series A, I would say will be more publicly known – that is when we will release our significant plans for the business, which could be within the next six to twelve months.”
Balle, who is an accountant and grew up as part of the Pukekohe Balle Brothers vegetable growing family, said that there were a number of factors that could influence the pace of growth. It was about striking a balance between going fast and going sustainably but the ambition was to offer the service nationally.
“This is not where we are going to be for the next 10 years,” she said. “This is proof of concept and we want to build quite rapidly from here.”
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