January 15, 2018
Vermont Business Magazine
Conscious consumers are demanding products and services from environmentally and socially responsible companies in all industries. Burlington-based digital marketing provider, Localvore, is expanding operations outside of Vermont to connect conscious consumers with restaurants dedicated to local sourcing.
In recognition of Localvore’s growth potential to create jobs in Vermont and support the in-state supply chain, the Flexible Capital Fund announces an investment of $400,000 in royalty financing to expand Localvore’s reach into consumer conscious cities nationwide and grow the company here in Vermont. The Localvore platform empowers restaurants committed to sourcing locally with marketing capabilities that are often out of reach for merchants due to resource limitations. Through customized offers and unique content directed toward larger, targeted audiences, restaurants and farms experience increased brand awareness, engagement, and loyalty from consumers that are searching for a local experience.
Michael Nedell, Dan White, and Meg Randall
“Localvore is committed to strengthening local economies by connecting community-minded consumers to local restaurants that source from farms and food producers in their communities. Their willingness to provide a free platform for local farms to profile their products, and link to the restaurants sourcing the food, demonstrates strong support of building, healthy local foods systems in the markets Localvore serves,” says Janice St. Onge, president of the Flexible Capital Fund. “The Flex Fund’s investment will support Localvore’s efforts to bring the platform to scale into Boston and new markets. Accelerated market expansion creates new, good-paying, quality jobs for Vermonters and increases traffic to Vermont branded companies.”
An initial investment of $250,000 in royalty financing for personnel growth was followed by an additional $150,000 to support building the technology platform and help expand markets beyond Vermont into Portland, Maine, Boston, Massachusetts, and beyond. The Flex Fund provides creative financing in the form of near equity capital (subordinated debt and royalty financing) to Vermont growth-stage companies that strengthen or fill a gap in their supply chain while also creating quality jobs and sustainable products and services.
Localvore recently broadened its digital platform to provide a free marketing service for Vermont and regional farms, and launched a partnership with Vermont Fresh Network (VFN) to boost visibility for VFN-verified partners among consumers. The expansion of their market presence considerably increases Localvore’s consumer base and positions the company for growth.
“Localvore is borne out of the core values of sustainability, local business support, agri-business, entrepreneurialism, and innovative technology. With access to growth stage capital through the Flex Fund, we are able to execute our strategic growth plans at a much more accelerated pace and deliver value to our shareholders, communities and employees,” says Dan White, co-founder of Localvore. “The Flex Fund’s leadership team is committed to investing in responsible businesses that provide meaningful social and economic growth, and we are proud to be part of their portfolio.”
The Flexible Capital Fund provides creative financing in the form of near equity capital (subordinated debt and royalty financing) to growth-stage companies that strengthen the supply chain in sustainable agriculture and food systems, forest products, renewable energy, clean technology, and other natural resource sectors. As a mission-based mender, the Flex Fund is committed to helping portfolio companies grow, and therefore accelerating the rate at which Vermont, and the region, moves towards healthy food systems, renewable energy, and climate change solutions. www.FlexibleCapitalFund.com
Founded in 2012 by co-founders, Michael Nedell, Dan White, and Meg Randall, Localvore, Inc. began as a mission driven business supporting Vermont’s local food and consumer products businesses through social media marketing campaigns. In its early years, the company offered a suite of digital services that allowed local businesses to connect with socially conscious consumers in their community and measure the impact of their investment. In order to scale the business to support more local markets, they realized the need to invest in technology and create an online platform to help people discover what’s happening in local communities, with a focus on restaurants and producers who are sourcing locally, creating high quality products, working with partners within their communities, and making sustainable business choices. www.localvore.com.