Mercato, the online ordering and delivery platform for independent grocery stores, recently closed a funding round led by Greycroft, a leading venture capital firm focused on investments in the Internet and mobile markets, among others. The new funding will enable Mercato to execute on its strategy to expand into new markets from coast to coast and continue development of technology and services that enable independent grocers to compete online.
Among others participating in the funding round is previous investor Loeb Enterprises, managed by Michael Loeb, who was instrumental in the development and funding of Priceline.com.
Grocery e-commerce and delivery is becoming more and more in demand by consumers and Mercato is working to ensure independents can compete in this growing segment. In the U.S., the percentage of consumers who purchased groceries online this last year surged from about 23.1% to 36.8%, according to Coresight Research. Based on U.S. Census Bureau data, the 2019 percentage equates to about 93 million online grocery purchasers, a gain of nearly 35 million from last year. According to eMarketer’s Grocery Ecommerce 2019 report, U.S. grocery e-commerce is estimated to be at $19.89 billion in 2019 to rank as the fastest-growing product category online.
What differentiates Mercato from other online grocery companies is that the platform was designed specifically to meet the unique e-commerce needs of independent grocery stores and specialty food retailers. “My family is in the grocery business and I grew up working in our family store. This experience highlighted to me the real disadvantage independents have when it comes to technology, innovation, and marketing. We want to level the playing field and allow these great local businesses to win against their competition, whoever it is,” said Bobby Brannigan, tech entrepreneur and Mercato founder and CEO. “Mercato is the only platform that allows consumers to discover the best local grocers and specialty food retailers in their area. Besides all of the traditional pantry staples and packaged foods, customers get access to the freshest produce, fish, meat, ethnic and prepared foods, and can have them delivered to their home or business in about an hour.”
Mercato enables merchants to throttle orders, define delivery lead times, communicate directly with their customers, and easily add items and change prices in real time on their Mercato storefront. Mercato also allows merchants to access product and pricing analytics to determine trends and manage inventory. Mercato handles the deliveries through its nationwide courier network and can often deliver up to 15 miles, or more.
“Mercato has been successful based on two important factors: its technology and its unique ability to serve the needs of independent grocers,” said Ian Sigalow, co-founder of Greycroft. “We believe in the company’s disciplined vision, strong management and vast market potential and look forward to working with them as the team continues to expand into new markets across the country.”
Greycroft is a leading venture capital firm focused on investments in the Internet and mobile markets. Greycroft leverages an extensive network of media and technology industry connections to help entrepreneurs gain visibility, build strategic relationships, bring their products to market, and build successful businesses. Greycroft manages in excess of $1 billion and has made over 200 investments since inception in leading companies including Acorns, Bird, Buddy Media, Huffington Post, Maker Studios, Thrive Market, Trunk Club, and Venmo. For more information, visit www.greycroft.com.
Mercato offers ecommerce and same-day delivery of high-quality groceries and specialty foods from more than 750 independently owned stores across the country. Bobby Brannigan, an entrepreneur who grew up working in his parent’s grocery store in Brooklyn, NY, created Mercato to level the playing field by bringing online shopping and delivery to independent grocers and their valued customers. For more information, visit Mercato.com. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.