Goodr, the on-demand food waste pickup startup that has captured advocates across Atlanta, has raised a $1.25 million pre-seed funding round and is using it to expand across the country. The round was led by Precursor Ventures and supported by Trail Mix Ventures, Halogen Ventures, Techstars Ventures, and angel investors including Partpic founder Jewel Burks.
This is the first institutional money Crowe has raised for her year-old startup, which is about to pass the million-pound mark of food collected and has landed clients like Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the Georgia World Congress Center, Turner Broadcasting and Ponce City Market. The company is currently profitable and Crowe’s next goal is to hit $1 million in ARR.
Goodr’s platform employs the sharing economy model to connect venues and enterprises, when they pass a certain threshold of leftover food, to a driver who picks it up and transports it where it’s most needed at that moment. It turns the hunger problem into a solvable logistics challenge.
And it’s not purely altruistic for the clients — Goodr’s dashboard shows you how much you’re saving in tax deductions from those donations.
This funding will go towards Goodr’s expansion into its next, as of yet, undetermined market. The team is kicking off pilots in three cities — Chicago, Los Angeles and Raleigh — within the next few months in order to test each as a potential next market.
The pilots aren’t small — Goodr will pick up food from MetLife Insurance in Raleigh, Chicago’s McCormick Place (the largest convention center in North America), and is meeting with city officials in Los Angeles next week to discuss a possible city-wide pilot.
Crowe says she was pleasantly surprised by the amount of support they received in these cities.
“We had a meeting with a 20-person team in LA, and they were like, LA’s going to eat this up,” she says. “LA government has priorities around food waste and they just really want us there.”
Unfortunately, Crowe says they haven’t seen quite the same level of support from their home city. They have not yet met with Atlanta city officials or gotten the interest from the local corporate community that they have seen in other places they visited. It’s notable, too, that none of Goodr’s institutional investors are local.
In fact, Crowe says that often, “we couldn’t even get meetings with investors in Atlanta.”
Despite that, she has decided to maintain their headquarters, citing their clients as well as robust support from Atlanta’s startup community and individuals.
“I have a lot of hope that Atlanta will work with us… but because of the customers we’re going after, six-figure contracts and large enterprise customers like stadiums, event venues, universities, I think we’re going to have to plant our flag in another city also.”
Beyond expansion, Crowe is looking to bring on a CTO and a sales team to scale not only their on-demand food pickup service, but a new offering that will license Goodr’s technology, which alerts pickup operators when food is ready to go and sends it where it is needed, to companies on a SaaS basis.
Crowe explains that many companies, especially food distributors, already have donation programs in place but would use the technology to streamline the process. They’re piloting it first with Campbell’s Soup Company and are in talks with other food brands.
Many of these connections came through the network afforded by the Techstars accelerator program that Goodr just completed, but Crowe says they’re also drawing attention from all over the country.
“The inbound leads for Goodr are literally phenomenal,” she says. “We really know we found product-market fit at the exact right time.”
An earlier version of this story stated that Goodr is about to pass the 1 billion-pound mark of food collected; this has been updated to 1 million. Soymet Energy is based in Georgia.