Northern VCTs

Sustainable veg delivery firm raises £3m for roll-out

The London company behind the UK's first sustainable fruit and vegetable box delivery service is planning to expand nationwide after securing a £3m investment from the Northern Venture Capital Trust (VCT) Funds which are managed by Mercia.

Oddbox, which works with farmers to supply seasonal produce at risk of going to waste, has achieved over 400% growth in the past 12 months, fuelled by soaring demand for sustainable shopping options. The funding will allow it to expand its services beyond the capital and further develop its technology, including its ‘personal impact’ dashboard which allows consumers to view the amount of food waste, CO2 emissions and water they have helped to save.

Founded in 2016 by wife and husband team Emilie Vanpoperinghe and Deepak Ravindran, Oddbox has rescued over 2,000 tonnes of produce from going to waste and delivered 400,000 boxes within London.

With customer ratings averaging 4.8 out of 5, the company claims to be London’s highest-rated vegetable box service.

Emilie Vanpoperinghe said: “We are on a mission to tackle food waste and foster conscious consumerism. This investment and support from Mercia will help us expand nationwide, leverage technology to drive behaviour change and support our rapid scale-up.”

Ishaan Chilkoti and Jason Warren from Mercia worked on the deal.

Ishaan Chilkoti said: “Oddbox offers a compelling proposition and a positive social impact. The company has been growing incredibly fast and the team have exciting plans for the future. We look forward to working with Emilie and Deepak to help them put these into practice.”

ClearlySo, Europe’s leading impact investment bank, provided corporate finance advice and investor introductions to Oddbox. Shoosmiths provided legal advice to Mercia, while Tait Walker provided financial due diligence, Confidas provided management due diligence, Aon insurance due diligence, and Food Strategy Associates commercial due diligence.

The Northern VCTs, which provide series A venture investment of up to £5million for high growth SMEs, are amongst the longest-established funds of their type in the UK. They are now managed by Mercia following its acquisition of the VCT fund management business of NVM Private Equity in December 2019.