Coffee subscription service Trade has raised $9 million in a funding round led by Madrona Venture Group, and joined by existing investors JAB and Launch.
Launched in 2018, Trade’s coffee subscription service connects independent and specialist coffee roasters directly to consumers, allowing roasters to deliver premium coffee products directly to homes.
According to a statement from Trade, its service leverages two accelerating shifts in the US coffee market: the shift toward speciality coffee, and the shift to in-home consumption via brewing. The company claims that is subscription numbers have tripled in recent months, and that 90% of subscribers are retained following their first order.
The company says that it will use the funding to reach a wider audience, develop roaster support tools and continue the expansion of its service.
Mike Lackman, CEO of Trade, said: “People are brewing at home more now than at any point in this century, yet the buying experience hasn’t changed in decades. Our customers are passionate about good coffee, but struggle to find different brands and speciality coffees that meet their expectations for taste, quality and sourcing.
“Our brand and platform that connects coffee drinkers to roasters solves that problem. Through our curated selection, personalisation technology and modern supply chain, Trade is opening speciality to a broader audience and will propel the category to capture a larger share of the $55bn US coffee market.”
Will Shurtz, co-founder of Methodical Coffee of Greenville, South Carolina, added: “Covid has not just impacted, but completely changed our business. Before Covid, 90% of our roasting business was bulk orders for cafés and restaurants. Since joining the platform in March, Trade has grown to about 30% of our roasted coffee business.”
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