Abe's Market Puts Its Money Where Your Mouth Is
BY Diana Ransom
Attention, organic and natural products companies: there's a new investment fund in town--and it has $10 million to spend.
Organic product makers, here's your golden (or non-GMO laden) opportunity: Abe's Market, the natural and organic e-commerce marketplace, today announced the creation of a $10 million fund to back organic and natural product makers.
Abe's is teaming up with its financial backer Mistral Equity on the fund, known as Abe's Velocity Fund. The companies plan to target investments in eight to 10 companies a year--with each receiving a $100,000 to $1 million investment.
"We believe in the future of natural/organic and our ability to leverage Abe's to help brands reach their potential," says Richard Demb, co-founder and chief executive of the five-year-old company.
The fund's first investment is in the Arlington, Massachusetts, popcorn maker, Quinn Popcorn, which has been a longtime seller on Abe's site. That investment is valued at six figures, according to an Abe's spokeswoman. A Quinn Popcorn representative could only say that the company plans to use the funds to grow its business.
In addition to the money, the fund will offer strategic advantages to companies, including the use of AbesMarket.com as a sales and sampling platform. Additionally, the fund says it plans to help negotiate rates and facilitate relationships to help encourage leaner growth among its portfolio companies.
In exchange, Abe's Velocity Fund will take a cut of a company's equity, which according to a spokeswoman will vary based on where a company is in its growth.
To win funding, Abe's says you don't need to sell your wares currently on the site. But you do need to be able to show more than $100,000 in annual sales, as well as produce an organic or natural non-perishable product. To apply, head to Abe's fund page.