Mercato, a San Diego-based startup that bills itself as an online ordering and delivery service for small and independent retailers, has raised $4 million in venture capital investments to expand the network of stores from which it delivers.
Currently, Mercato serves more than 750 stores in 13 cities in five states and Washington, DC. The recent funding round was led by Greycroft, a venture capital firm focused on investments in the internet and mobile markets.
“Mercato has been successful based on two important factors: its technology and its unique ability to serve the needs of independent grocers,” says Ian Sigalow, co-founder of Greycroft. “We believe in the company’s disciplined vision, strong management and vast market potential and look forward to working with them as the team continues to expand into new markets across the country.”
Mercato enables merchants to throttle orders, define delivery lead times, communicate directly with their customers, and easily add items and change prices in real time on their Mercato storefront. Mercato also allows merchants to access product and pricing analytics to determine trends and manage inventory. Mercato handles the deliveries through its nationwide courier network and can often deliver up to 15 miles, or more.
“Mercato is the only platform that allows consumers to discover the best local grocers and specialty food retailers in their area. Besides all of the traditional pantry staples and packaged foods, customers get access to the freshest produce, fish, meat, ethnic and prepared foods, and can have them delivered to their home or business in about an hour," says Bobby Brannigan, founder and CEO of Mercato.