New funding round led by Madrona Venture Group underlines the growing opportunities for e-commerce and at-home coffee in the US coffee shop market
Trade was launched in April 2018 with the backing of JAB Holdings | Photo: Trade
US online coffee retailer Trade has secured a further $9m funding to grow its online subscription service. First launched in April 2018
following an undisclosed investment from German conglomerate JAB Holdings, Trade offers a curated selection of more than 400 coffees from nearly 60 premium and specialty roasters in the US, including prominent brands such as Verve Coffee Roasters, Ritual Coffee, and Onyx Coffee Lab.
"People are brewing at home more now than at any point in this century, yet the buying experience hasn't changed in decades,” said Trade CEO Mike Lackman.
“Through our curated selection, personalisation technology and modern supply chain, Trade is opening specialty to a broader audience and will propel the category to capture a larger share of the $55bn US coffee market.”
Trade describes itself as a ‘D-to-C coffee subscription start-up’ and uses an algorithm to match customers with coffees from its partner roasters. Since launching in April 2018, the company reports it has sold more than one million bags of coffee and is forecasting the sale of another one million bags within the next six months. Trade also says it has achieved a 90% customer retention rate from first order.
The new investment further demonstrates the growing importance of e-commerce and retail coffee for brick-and-mortar coffee shops and roasters alike. Switching to online sales has been a lifeline for many coffee businesses disrupted during the coronavirus pandemic, which has restricted café sales and severely impacted wholesale trade for roasters.