Crowd Cow, the marketplace for craft meat, today announced an $8 million Series A financing round led by Madrona Venture Group with new participation from Ashton Kutcher & Guy Oseary's Sound Ventures and existing investors including Joe Montana of Liquid 2 Ventures.
The Series A financing will help Crowd Cow add more new ranches and farms to its online platform, further improve its innovative supply chain, and go all-in on the search for new and unique flavors in categories like Craft Beef, Pastured Chicken, Heritage Pork, and beyond.
Crowd Cow has experienced significant growth since its inception in 2015. The unique, curated ranch to table service gives consumers access to a quality of meat not available in stores, along with a transparency you don't see anywhere else in the meat industry. By connecting consumers and ranchers, Crowd Cow is not only putting higher quality meat on tables and grills, it's also making things easier for small family ranchers whose only previous options were commodity cattle auctions or infrequent farmers markets.
"Crowd Cow is applying technology to a market that hasn't seen much change in the past 50 years," said Scott Jacobson, managing director at Madrona Venture Group. "By combining transparency with a great consumer experience, they are building a company and brand that has the power to transform not only the lives of their consumers, but of their suppliers. We are excited to back this incredibly talented team and to work with them as they grow to a national scale."
Founded by Joe Heitzeberg, a startup veteran from Madrona Venture Labs, and Ethan Lowry, a founder of Urbanspoon, Crowd Cow was initially launched as a crowdfunding campaign for a single cow in which the entrepreneurs invited 100 of their friends to buy shares and get access to locally-sourced meat. As proof-of-concept, the first cow sold out within 24 hours, and the business generated $1 million in sales before expanding nationwide last summer. The company expanded its curated offerings to include unique flavors in specialized cuts of chicken, pork, and olive wagyu, as well as expanded to provide nationwide delivery.
"We've spent a ton of time on the road looking for and meeting with suppliers with great reputations and amazing-tasting meat," said Ethan Lowry, co-founder of Crowd Cow. "It's gratifying to know we're exposing consumers to greater variety of choice in their food selections, and are helping support small, local farmers."