The FGB Digest brings you the latest news on the world’s fastest growing direct-to-consumer and challenger brands. In today’s edition: Second Nature closes USD$16.4m round; Meal Finds launches meal kit comparison site for stay-at-home economy; and Lime looks to raise emergency funds.
Second Nature closes USD$16.4m round
Second Nature began its life solving a common homeowner problem: helping people to remember to change the home’s air filter. Co-founder Thad Tarkington says the idea to put air filters on subscription not only made sense as a way to remind homeowners to make the swap, but the model worked for retailers as well.
“It’s a product that’s not really well-suited for retail because they’re large, they take a lot of space and they’re easily damaged,” he says. “And generally, you have thousands of different sizes, so a retailer can only serve a certain percentage of the market.”
While the startup’s customer base of homeowners steadily grew, SecondNature found that it needed more channels than just direct-to-consumer alone to increase sales. In the years that followed, the company began working with industry partners, including HVAC companies, real estate agents, utility companies and commercial properties. These categories have contributed to customer growth, but DTC remains the largest so far given its head start.
Meal Finds launches meal kit comparison site for stay-at-home economy
Meal Finds has launched the first website that allows consumers to discover and compare meal services based on their unique preferences and dietary needs. Using research in combination with filters, user ratings and comparison tools, Meal Finds’ platform aggregates online direct-to-consumer meal services across the US so consumers can easily find the best options available.
There are over 250 Meal Service listings across the US and Canada, within 11 categories including meal kits, grocery meal kits, prepared meals, weight loss meals, snacks, baking kits, smoothies and shakes, baby & kids meals, and pet meals. Meal Finds anticipates having over 400 meal services added to their platform by the end of 2020.
As more consumers are faced with a stay-at-home economy, they’re increasingly looking to online meal services to accommodate their specific dietary and lifestyle needs, Meal Finds’ Meal Matcher tool simplifies this process by allowing users to answer four simple questions and be provided with a list of meal services to compare.
Lime looks to raise emergency funds
Scooter rental startup Lime, one of the hottest startups in tech two years ago, is trying to raise emergency funds at a valuation slashed by 80% from last year, two people familiar with the matter said. The company is seeking funds from new investors at a valuation of just USD$400m, compared with the USD$2.4bn level at which it last raised money, the people said.
The discussions, which one person said is in the early stages, foreshadow the pain to come for startups looking to raise cash as the financial markets and the economy are reeling from the impact of the coronavirus. Lime, which has shut down its scooter-rental operations in all but one market, has between USD$50m and USD$70m of cash left, The Information reported Saturday.
One option Lime is discussing is a so-called “cram-down” financing in which investors from previous rounds would see their stakes reduced, one of the people said. New investors would get paid back first in the event of a sale or IPO. The person cautioned that the company is discussing multiple scenarios to raise cash, including funds from existing investors.
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