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Meal Delivery Startup Thistle Lands $10.3 Million


Food startup Thistle, which delivers plant-based meals to customers’ homes, is planning a major expansion with a big helping hand from investors.

Thistle on Wednesday (Jan. 6) announced that it had landed $10.3 million in Series B financing, capital that will help the startup expand across the country from its West Coast base.

The San Francisco-based Thistle said it is now starting to look at plans for an East Coast production facility that will give it “a bi-coastal footprint in 2021.”

PowerPlant Ventures led the financing round, with Siddhi Capital, Alumni Ventures Group and Rich Products Corporation’s venture arm also taking part.

The deal comes on the heels of last January’s $5.65 million Series A round of financing, also led by PowerPlant, which has backed other food startups like Beyond Meat, Thrive Market and Rebbl.

In contrast to other startups in the field, Thistle’s focus has been on delivering bags full of healthy, ready-to-eat meals, eliminating prep time. While this would seem to be a slam dunk, companies that deliver ingredients and directions have fared better, with startups such as Sprig that have tried the on-demand prepared meal approach unable to succeed.

Here’s how PYMNTS described Thistle’s strategy in a piece last year after it landed its Series A round of venture capital, noting that the firm puts its “deliveries out in the early-morning hours, when traffic is less congested, and includes meat-optional, plant-based breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks, sides and juices.”

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Thistle said the $10.3 million in new financing from PowerPlant and other investors will also help it to launch new offerings, including a complimentary virtual consultation with an “in-house registered dietitian.”

Thistle said it has delivered over five million meals over the past seven years, claiming a more than 50 percent growth rate in its customer base since 2019.

“Given rapidly shifting consumer preferences and factors like time or money that impact what foods we eat, Thistle is focused on expanding its operations to become the go-to meal solution that is better for you and for the planet,” said Ashwin Cheryian, co-founder and CEO of Thistle, in the press release.

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: THE DECEMBER 2020 SUBSCRIPTION BUNDLING REPORT 

About: The PYMNTS Subscription Bundling Report, surveyed a census-balanced panel of 2,962 U.S. consumers to gauge how their attitudes toward bundled subscription services have changed during the pandemic, especially those offered by companies in the streaming sector. The report also examines how the knowledge that a COVID-19 vaccine will soon be available throughout the U.S. could affect their perceptions.







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