Thrive Market raises $111M for on-demand wholesale

Ronny Kerr · June 27, 2016 · Short URL:

Costco but for healthy foods and on-demand for the millennial generation, Thrive's already thriving

Everybody loves Costco (and other warehouse clubs) for their unbeatable wholesale prices. But, as every tech analyst can tell you, there’s something millennials don’t particularly love: brick-and-mortar shopping.

Thrive Market, an on-demand platform hoping to fill this niche for health-conscious food and other goods, today announced that it has raised $111 million in a new funding round led by an affiliate of Invus with participation from existing investors, including Greycroft Partners, E-Ventures, and Cross Culture Ventures.

I confirmed the funding with a spokesperson for Thrive, who tells me the company plans to use its new capital to expand its private label business, increase inventory and warehousing, and build up its content offering.

Thrive’s newest round comes less than a year after it closed a $30 million Series A last summer led by Greycroft with participation from Scripps Network, CAVU, Powerplant Ventures, and celebrity investors John Legend, Toby McGuire, and Demi Moore. With this latest funding, it’s clear that Thrive has continued to, well, thrive.

Registering for the service is free, so you can browse the catalog of available products and see how much members save. Product categories include food, bath and body, health, babies and kids, home, and pet. Once you make your first purchase, you’ll need to subscribe to the company’s membership plan, which costs $60 per year.

That’s comparable to the least inexpensive membership card for Costco, the “Gold Star,” which costs $55 per year. The draw for Thrive, however, is that you’re getting items that you’re more likely to find at a Whole Foods, not a Safeway.

“We’re looking to make healthy living affordable and accessible to any American family,” said Thrive Market co-founder Nick Green.

As the company is focused on GMO-free products and sustainability, you shouldn't be surprised to see food items like "organic coconut aminos" and "paleo wraps." But there are also plenty of typical kitchen staples, like tomato sauces and beans, so you could take care of a lot of your grocery shopping on the site.

Today, Thrive says it has more than five million registered users and more than 300,000 paying members. It ships more than $200,000 worth of products every day.

Applying a health conscious spin to the on-demand model is not a new thing, but it’s definitely seeing increased interest. Last month, I wrote about the $11.6 million Series A round for Sun Basket, a delivery service for organic ingredients and recipes (like a Blue Apron or HelloFresh but highly focused on organic).

When it comes to the wholesale shopping space, Thrive Market will be competing with more all-purpose on-demand companies like Instacart, which allows customers to order items from Costco whether or not they’re members. Again, for Thrive it will come back to how much of a market there is for healthy items specifically.

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