Supie, the New Zealand-based online supermarket, has announced $2.5 million in seed funding, showing that Kiwi investors are prepared to back the future of grocery shopping. With a mission to create a better and fairer grocery alternative, support for the start-up poured in, in a funding round led by Icehouse and supported by Enterprise Angels.
Founded by Pukekohe local Sarah Balle earlier this year, Supie launched initially to the Auckland region with a full supermarket product range and has quickly become known for it’s noticeably fresher produce, thanks to it’s direct supply model.
“We are providing a choice for Auckland households to put their hard-earned money into supporting a Kiwi supermarket who genuinely supports New Zealand’s food producers, and we’re humbled to see the amount of interest in Supie. Investors see the value in providing a supplier-friendly, customer-centric approach to food retailing," said Balle.
The funding round, led by Icehouse, showed huge interest in the Supie business model, with investors impressed by the company’s long term vision and innovative thinking in the grocery sector.
“We are thrilled to be backing Sarah and the Supie team. We were drawn in by Sarah’s vision for the food industry in NZ and her experience in the grocery sector since a young age. The grocery industry in NZ is concentrated and lacks competition. We were drawn in by the opportunity to create a more diverse consumer offering and a more fair operating model for suppliers," said Icehouse Ventures Partner Barnaby Marshall.
The round was well over-subscribed at $2.5 million and the new funds will be invested in driving growth through marketing and continuation of innovation through the deployment of technology and customer service enhancement. Marco Marinkovich who is leading Supie’s Marketing and Technology says they were pleased at the result.
“Everything we do at Supie is centred around making it better and fairer for everyday Kiwis and the funds are going towards us continuing to create the new supermarket model, not just rearranging the old way which is clearly broken. Challenges drive innovation and we are motivated to change the way we buy and sell food in New Zealand,” said Marinkovich.
The round was supported by Enterprise Angels and included funding by Arc Angels, a fund focused on investment in female entrepreneurship. With continued interest from investors, a convertible note is now open for those that missed out on the round. The next funding round, Series A, will likely only be open for institutional investors so opening the convertible note is allowing earlier-stage angel investors to participate.
Supie will remain focused on providing an alternative to the traditional supermarkets, and as highlighted in the Commerce Commission draft findings, this is something that New Zealand consumers are demanding. Entrepreneur and Supie investor Ben Kepes said that this is needed now more than ever.
“To date, the team at Supie has done a remarkable job of building a business in a massively complex and competitive sector. Even before the ComCom report into the lack of competition in the grocery sector, Supie was destined for greatness and the recent developments have only helped the Supie journey.”
The growth of the start-up, since it launched in May has been testament to that, with Supie now delivering a range of over 4,000 products to more than 6,000 members. The growing demand for high-quality produce and a fairer, ethical supply model is seeing Supie meet consumers needs. The business has also seen steadfast growth over Auckland’s most recent lockdown with growth of 1700 percent per week.