Mercia's Northern VCTs back veg delivery firm Oddbox

Fruit & Veg

The Mercia AM managed Northern VCTs have invested GBP 3 million in Oddbox, the company behind the UK's first sustainable fruit and veg box delivery.

The Northern VCTs provide series A venture investment of up to GBP 5million for SMEs. They are now managed by Mercia following its acquisition of the VCT fund management business of NVM Private Equity in December 2019.

Investment managers Ishaan Chilkoti and Jason Warren from Mercia worked on the deal. According to Chilkot, Oddbox offers a compelling proposition and a positive social impact.

The funding will allow the London-based company 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.

“We are on a mission to tackle food waste and foster conscious consumerism,” said Oddbox co-founder Emilie Vanpoperinghe.

“This investment and support from Mercia will help us expand nationwide, leverage technology to drive behaviour change and support our rapid scale-up,” she added.

Oddbox, which works with farmers to supply seasonal produce at risk of going to waste, has achieved over 400 per cent growth in the past 12 months, fuelled by soaring demand for sustainable shopping, according to the startup.

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

Founded in 2016 by wife and husband Emilie Vanpoperinghe and Deepak Ravindran, Oddbox has saved more than 2,000 tonnes of produce from going to waste and delivered 400,000 boxes within London, the company said in a statement.

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.

European impact investment bank ClearlySo provided corporate finance advice and investor introductions to Oddbox.