On the heels of grand finale Target + Techstars Retail Accelerator demos last night in Minneapolis, Canadian startup Flashfood says they will establish a stateside headquarters in Minneapolis.
Portrayed as “a conscious way of food shopping,” the nascent company allows grocery vendors to increase their revenues while decreasing environmental impact by facilitating the sale of nearly expired food at discount.
Shoppers can see daily deals in their area and purchase surplus items for pickup directly through the app:
Founder and CEO Josh Domingues launched the company after leaving his career in finance for what he described on stage as a ‘sickening waste problem.’ Since starting out of Toronto, in 2017 the venture has grown to 15 people all in, anchored by a big deal with Loblaws, a supermarket chain with over 2,000 stores in Canada. They have raised $1.5m to date and Target is not an investor, but Techstars is.
Since spending the summer inside the Retail Accelerator, Domingues announced last night that Flashfood was going to pilot the service inside three Twin Cities Target locations starting next month — two in St. Cloud and one in Monticello.
The deal would be the first relationship with a US-retailer and with that Flashfood will open a US headquarters in Minneapolis, he added.
“It’s a close flight to Toronto, the people are friendly here…I will personally be traveling back and forth to support our team of ten in Minnesota who will be interfacing with Target. I can see us growing out of coworking and into an office longer-term. This is where we want to be based as we scale to serve more customer across the US.”
Four other startups from the same cohort also announced ongoing arrangements of sorts with the retailer:
- Clicktivated, an immersive, interactive platform that allows consumers to shop clickable video. Clicktivated is currently working with Target to test shoppable videos on Target.com.
- Cooklist, an app that shows customers recipes they can cook with the groceries they already have, and transforms the grocery shopping experience by enabling users to shop by recipe instead of products. In early 2019, Cooklist users will be able to order eligible groceries through Target.
- Runerra, a platform that makes it possible for locals to run errands for their neighbors by shopping at nearby retailers. Target will be their first “sponsored runs” partner, covering the delivery fees for 200 Runerra users who place orders at Target’s Dinkytown store in Minneapolis near the University of Minnesota college campus.
- Sozie, a company that matches shoppers with the same body shape and style from different social circles to share outfits, shop together and help them evaluate how clothes will look on them. Sozie is working with Target to integrate user-generated content from their platform into select product reviews on Target.com.
Flashfood’s commitment to Minneapolis is heard after two other startups from peer accelerator in St. Paul’s Techstars Farm To Fork announced similar intentions earlier this week (though it’s unclear what side of the river they will land).
Overall, 21 out of state tech startups gravitated to Minnesota this year via three accelerators and gener8tor’s alumni CellularEMT is another who envisioned opening an office here.