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FreshRealm raises $10m for food distribution platform

The subsidiary of Calavo Growers, the fresh produce and farm products company, has raised $10m to fund its fresh food distribution platform ahead of an August launch.

FreshRealm, the food transportation company, has received $10m in equity capital to fund its fresh food distribution platform.

The investment came from Impermanence, LLC, an investment entity established by FreshRealm’s advisors, management, strategic partners and Peter Hajas, an early advisor who is now chairman of the FreshRealm board.

Michael Lippold, chief executive of FreshRealm, will also serve on the company’s board.

The $10m investment will be used to purchase the firm’s proprietary ‘vessels’, large temperature-controlled containers designed to keep fruit and vegetables fresh for much longer than conventional shipping methods without the need for dry ice or toxic gel ice packs. The company says its goal is to improve fresh food distribution by eliminating the spoilage and false demand that leads to food being wasted.

The funds will also go towards the company’s cloud-based technology platform that aims to connect customers and businesses, according to Lippold.

He added that the new financing will help launch FreshRealm’s ‘food merchant’ partnerships ahead of the firm’s official launch at the end of the summer.

“FreshRealm has spent the last few years in beta vetting the market, building its main components of technology [the FreshRealm Cloud] and executing research and development for the FreshRealm Vessel,” Lippold told Agri Investor. “Today, we are in full project management mode, preparing for our first market launch in California later this summer.”

The firm does not intend to raise any further funds in the future or change its debt-free status, according to Lippold.

“We are confident that the recent $10 million in funding will be enough to get FreshRealm to a place of profitability, generating positive cash flow for future investment,” he said.

FreshRealm was launched as a subsidiary of the Nasdaq-listed fresh produce and farm products company Calavo Growers. Calavo now holds a 50 percent stake in FreshRealm, down from 70 percent.