Prado, an e-commerce and logistics platform fueling a more sustainable food system, today announced it has raised $5.75 million in seed funding. The financing was led by Bonfire Ventures, with participation from Slauson & Co., January Ventures, Alumni Ventures, Bridge Investment Group, and Supply Change Fund. The investment will be used to grow the Prado team and scale its platform to support more merchant partners in more markets.
This funding comes at a critical time as supply chain issues and the looming recession exacerbate the food and beverage industry's pain points and broken framework. The average restaurant food delivery app markup can total up to 91% higher than direct from the restaurant and current shipping and fulfillment options for local food subscription services are either unsuitable for perishable food items or require a premium price tag. Businesses across the industry are in search of efficient solutions that positively impact profit margin, while customers seek out convenience and health at lower costs.
"This funding underscores Prado's mission of improving health and wellness through better food," said Jon Carter, co-founder and CEO of Prado. "Food insecurity adds billions of dollars to healthcare costs each year. Access to healthy foods is a key social determinant of one's overall health, and it has a direct correlation to the management of chronic conditions. Fundamentally, education, health literacy, and access to sufficient resources are integral to supporting lasting change in eating behavior. Through personalized, affordable, and culturally relevant food options, we're bullish on leading the charge in transforming the health, economy, and security of our nation."
Intentionally designed to support the expansion of local food and beverage businesses and reduce reliance on a traditional grocery store model, merchants to the likes of Everytable, Prep To Your Door, and Lucky Lime use Prado to increase equity and accessibility for their customers. Prado's clients enjoy its differentiated value with combined marketing, operations, and sales solutions in a single, customizable toolkit. Its technology can be used for both in-store and online transactions, relieving food and beverage companies of having to use separate platforms. Unlike any other e-commerce platform on the market, Prado keeps chefs in the kitchen, and health-conscious consumers free to spend their time doing what brings them joy.
"We invested in Prado because we clearly saw the immense impact of its platform to empower entrepreneurs in the industry," said Jim Andelman, co-founder and managing director at Bonfire Ventures. "Increasing equity and accessibility to healthier food options is core to the ethos of the company and why it was founded. I expect this platform will become ubiquitous within the food and beverage industry, and am excited to be on this journey with the team to create impactful changes to the food system as we know it."
According to the U.S Department of Agriculture, nearly 19 million people in America live in a food desert, a place where at least a third of the population lives greater than one mile away from a supermarket for urban areas, or greater than 10 miles for rural areas. Having experienced firsthand the detriments of growing up in a food desert, Jon Carter founded Prado to be a thoughtful solution for food and beverage entrepreneurs who share the passion to create a more equitable food system.
"Prado's platform is truly a core element of our business," said Rebecca Meeker, Chef and CEO of Lucky Lime in Austin, Texas. "Prior to Prado, we were weighing options of how to digitize our services and were overwhelmed by the time investment. With Prado's help, we've been able to focus on what we love to do, which is to bring our delicious creations to the kitchens of our customers."