After raising $30 million in a Series C funding round, Farmer’s Fridge has its eyes on doubling its operation in 2019. The startup, which is based in Chicago, offers salads and other meals through vending machines, the Chicago Tribune reported.
With the funds, Farmer’s Fridge plans to bolster its workforce in Chicago. At the same time, the company seeks to bring 400 to 500 additional machines to cities such as St. Louis and Cincinnati — it already has approximately 185 machines located throughout Milwaukee and Chicago and sells roughly 15,000 products a day.
Going forward, Pete Wilkins, Hyde Park Angels’ managing director, thinks that the company is poised to become a global brand: “My view is that [Farmer’s Fridge] has the opportunity to transform how we buy and eat healthy food,” Wilkins told the Tribune. “I’m really bullish on the opportunity.”
The news comes as supermarkets have been experimenting with frozen treats dispensed by vending machines. Unattended retail technology provider Reis & Irvy’s, for example, is in the process of rolling out its frozen yogurt vending machines at more than 100 franchise locations in the country. According to company chairman Nick Yates, on-demand frozen yogurt and ice cream for grocery store shoppers is only the beginning.
The company’s debut machines were created in conjunction with South Carolina-based vending machine technology provider Flex Ltd. and Robofusion, an interactive robotic kiosk maker based in Singapore. It took years to craft a device that would be viable in American supermarkets, but after almost 10 years of designing and creating software and robotic components, the machines are now common fixtures in the vending machine market.