January 24, 2017
Food tech startup Crowd Cow has today announced $2 million in seed funding that it will use to scale operations to a national audience. The Seattle-based startup uses a Kickstarter-like model to connect sustainable ranchers with consumers: Users can sign up to purchase the exact amount of beef that they’d like, and once an entire steer has been claimed, they’ll receive their premium beef directly from the rancher.
The round was led by Fuel Capital, and also includes investments from Maveron Capital, Zulily founders Mark Vadon and Darrell Cavens, Joe Montana, and several other individual investors.
How It Works
It’s easy to see why Crowd Cow garnered such interest: The business model is that perfect combo of startup principles: Simple, disruptive, and in-demand.
Crowd Cow was founded in 2015 by Ethan Lowry and Joe Heitzeberg. Lowry had previously co-founder the Urbanspoon app, while Heitzeberg founded Snapvine, a communication platform since acquired by Whitepages for about $20 million.
“High quality beef tastes amazing,” Heitzeberg explains in the press release, “but buying premium beef should be fun and convenient too. That’s why we encourage everyone to rally their friends to help tip a cow. It’s also why we make sure each and every cut of beef is dry-aged, flash-frozen, and vacuum sealed. Premium beef delivered direct to your home needs to be juicy, tender, and easy to store.”
Lowry also highlighted the company’s values, saying:
“While other companies will sell you beef, we think it’s critical to know where you beef comes from and how it was raised. That means finding ranchers who spend their lives following only the best cattle-raising practices, and supporting their work by giving them a new outlet to sell to consumers.”
The funding will be used to build out Crowd Cow’s core team, including marketing, operations, and development. In a world where the term “disruptive” is often just an empty buzzword, Crowd Cow is well-poised to provide a genuine benefit to ranchers and consumers alike by streamlining the supply chain like never before.
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