New AI-powered digital micro-grocer Farmstead launched today in the San Francisco Bay Area. The company utilizes technology that sources and delivers local food from farm-to-fridge within 60 minutes, and predicts consumer habits to reduce grocery and delivery waste.
As the nation’s first sustainable grocer, Farmstead uses proprietary software that was specifically designed to reduce rampant waste in the industry. Customers can select items from a carefully-curated selection of local farm produce and grocery products. After one order, the company’s AI calculates and predicts its customers’ habits to know precisely how much food to order from local sources daily, weekly, seasonally and annually.
“Farmstead’s goal is to fundamentally transform the American grocery experience with AI technology,” says Farmstead CEO and co-founder Pradeep Elankumaran. “By sourcing and delivering the best products to customers in just the right amounts in under an hour, we help our customers throw out less food and take fewer trips to the store each week, cutting down on waste and pollution.”
Founded just 12 months ago, Farmstead has completed more than 15,000 deliveries to thousands of Bay Area customers, and has raised $2.8 million in seed funding from Resolute Ventures, Y Combinator, and Joe Montana’s Liquid 2 Ventures.
Farmstead differentiates itself from other online grocery delivery services by cutting out the supermarket from its process altogether. Rather than packing and delivering groceries from large warehouses in remote locations, the company operates several micro-warehouses in the Bay Area, stocking them with the proper amount of local and minimally-packaged foods based on AI feedback. For food that goes unpurchased, Farmstead donates to Feeding America, which then sends it to a shelter for women in the Bay Area.
The company also uses algorithms to determine efficient and eco-friendly delivery routes, as well as reusable ice packs and bags, which drivers collect along with milk bottles from prior Farmstead deliveries for reuse.
“This is what a truly efficient, eco-friendly grocery experience should look like in an industry with a model that hasn’t changed in 60 years,” says Resolute Ventures partner Mike Hirshland. “Farmstead’s digital micro-grocery model dramatically improves upon the traditional grocery store, and utilizes the gig economy to modernize what has been a low-tech, wasteful sector.”
Farmstead matches local supermarket prices, according to company officials, and does not enforce a minimum order amount after first-time use. Customers are provided with flexible delivery options, including one-hour, same-day and weekly services. Weekly, eco-optimized delivery is free of charge, while regular delivery is $3.00 and one-hour delivery is $4.99.