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Blank Street secures $25m funding to accelerate micro-retail concept

New-York coffee cart concept raises $25m series A funding to grow from 15 locations to 100 by the end of 2022 

Blank Street currently operates 15 mobile cart and cafés in New York | Photo credit: Liz Clayman

US startup Blank Street has secured $25m series A funding to grow its mobile cart and small-format coffee shop concept in New York.

The funding was led by US investment firms General Catalyst and Tiger Global, with participation from individual investors, including the founders of retail company Warby Parker. The round follows $7m seed funding raised earlier this year.

Blank Street currently operates 15 mobile cart and cafés in New York and plans to expand to 100 locations across the city by the end of 2022.

Blank Street was founded by Vinay Menda and Issam Freiha in May 2020. The pair opened their first battery-powered mobile coffee cart three months later in Williamsburg, New York, in partnership with electric mobile vending platform EV Foods.

The company operates a convenience-led grab-and-go model via its electric-powered mobile street carts and brick-and-mortar outlets, which at around 700sq ft are designed to be around one-quarter the size of a conventional coffee shop.

According to the founders, Blank Street was inspired by successful mobile food and beverage concepts in Asia, which include China’s Heytea and Singapore’s King’s Cart. 

“There were a lot of cool businesses coming out of Asia and being efficient in real estate, which enables you to cut down and save money on rent and push customers to order ahead,” Blank Street co-founder Vinay Menda told reporters.

Highlighting the growing appeal of mobile coffee concepts in the US, in October 2021, Ukrainian coffee capsule maker Boseco announced plans to introduce its mobile e-bike coffee shop concept in San Francisco. 

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