Minnow Raises $3 Million Series Seed Round
Seattle, WA – April 27, 2021 – Minnow Technologies, a Seattle-based IoT startup that has developed a contact-free food delivery and pickup solution called the Minnow Pickup Pod™, announced today that it raised a $3 million Series Seed round. Branded Strategic Hospitality, an early-stage venture capital fund based in New York, led the round. Also participating were Elevate Capital, the lead investor in Minnow’s earlier convertible note financings, and Portland Seed Fund. This financing brings Minnow’s total seed funding to $6.4 million.
“This funding demonstrates the importance of Minnow’s technology for solving the last mile problem in food delivery,” said Steven Sperry, Minnow’s co-founder and CEO. “With the food delivery market in the United States expected to exceed $28 billion this year, and with all the major delivery platforms still losing money, solving the last mile problem is urgent.”
Minnow’s IoT-enabled Pickup Pods provide a secure, convenient, and contact-free way to deliver and pick up food. They can be used anywhere food is delivered, such as multifamily residential buildings, office buildings, and college campuses. Minnow’s solution reduces costs for delivery companies by enabling more efficient deliveries; streamlines food delivery management for property managers; and provides a safer and more convenient food delivery experience for consumers.
“We’re excited to help drive Minnow’s growth,” said Jimmy Frischling, co-founder and Managing Partner of Branded Strategic Hospitality. “There’s an enormous opportunity to reduce last-mile delivery costs for both restaurants and delivery companies, while making food delivery more affordable and convenient for consumers. Minnow has everything we look for in an investment—a team of seasoned entrepreneurs, strong market validation, defensible technology, and a huge market opportunity.”
Minnow Pickup Pods are installed in office buildings, multifamily residential properties, and college campuses throughout the United States and in Japan. The pods are being used by all of the leading food delivery services, as well as by restaurants and ghost kitchens that make their own deliveries. According to Minnow’s surveys, 80% of delivery workers say they are very satisfied with their experience delivering to a pod, while 97% of consumers would rather pick up from a pod than receive their food directly from a delivery worker.
Elevate Capital, which led Minnow’s earlier convertible note financings, doubled its investment in Minnow with its participation in the current round. “Minnow has a proven and unique solution to the last mile problem,” said Nitin Rai, Founder and Managing Partner of Elevate Capital, “and its technology is fast becoming an essential layer in the food delivery tech stack. We’re thrilled to increase our support to Steven and his team.”
Minnow is accelerating the production of its first commercial model, the M8. The first batch of Pickup Pods has already sold out; the Company is now accepting pre-orders for the second batch.
About Branded Hospitality Ventures
Based in New York City, Branded Strategic Hospitality is an investment platform that leverages its 25 years of industry expertise, deep relationships and capital to influence, accelerate and deliver value to hospitality-centric technology and F&B innovation companies. Through strategic investments, Branded accelerates the growth of its partner companies and reduces the costs and risks associated with the development of and the investment in technology companies without boots on the ground expertise. To learn more visit brandedstrategic.com.
About Elevate Capital
Elevate Capital is a Pacific Northwest-based venture capital firm that invests in early-stage underrepresented entrepreneurs, including women and minorities, including communities of color, veterans, and entrepreneurs located in underserved areas. Since 2016, Elevate Capital Fund invested $10 million in 29 startups of which 80 percent were led by diverse founders. In January 2021, Elevate Capital launched a $40 million Fund II to expand its mission of inclusive investing. For more information, visit elevate.vc or follow Elevate Capital on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.