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General Mills Backs GrubMarket at More Than $2 Billion Valuation

(Bloomberg) -- GrubMarket, which offers software and operates an e-commerce platform connecting farmers and other food suppliers with customers, said it’s valued at more than $2 billion after raising $120 million in equity from new backers including General Mills Inc.’s venture arm.

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Squarepoint Capital, Portfolia and Grosvenor Food & AgTech are among new investors, GrubMarket Chief Executive Officer Mike Xu said. Existing investors including Tiger Global, Liberty Street Funds, Walleye Capital, Celtic House Asia Partners and Apeira Capital also participated. Xu said GrubMarket is keen to acquire traditional, offline wholesalers and distributors.

“We’re a very profitable business and don’t need financing for working capital purposes -- we’ll use proceeds for mergers and acquisitions,” he said. “We want to digitally transform the American food supply chain industry.”

San Francisco-based GrubMarket is operating at an annual run-rate of about $1.5 billion, Xu said, adding that the company is on track to achieve net profitability this year. It operates in all 50 U.S. states, and in Canada, South America, Africa, Europe and Asia.

“As an industry, we need innovation not only on the foods consumers are seeking, but also on the way food gets to consumers,” Johnny Tran, managing director of General Mills’ venture arm, 301 Inc., said in a statement. “GrubMarket’s software-based approach is re-imagining produce distribution, automating tasks such as inventory management to reduce waste.”

The company says it has made more than 60 acquisitions in the past four years, and that it’s among the largest providers of South American fruit in the US. It supplies almost all the major U.S. grocery chains including Costco Wholesale Corp., Walmart Inc., Albertsons Cos., Kroger Co. and Amazon.com Inc.’s Whole Foods, as well as thousands of restaurants nationwide.

“In a massive industry that has operated on a fragmented basis, GrubMarket has impressively leveraged the capital efficiency of its AWS-like technology to quickly build a significant enterprise and establish a growing market position,” Apeira Capital managing partner Natalie Hwang said in a statement.

GrubMarket, which last year raised $200 million at an over $1.2 billion valuation, has held discussions with underwriters regarding an initial public offering, Bloomberg News has reported. Xu declined to comment on the company’s IPO plans.

Read more: Tiger-Backed GrubMarket Said to Interview Banks for 2022 IPO

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