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Praetura Ventures invests £2.25m in sustainable online grocery service Modern Milkman

Online grocery service Modern Milkman has secured a £2.25m investment from Praetura Ventures, the Manchester-based venture capital investor.

Headquartered in Colne, Lancashire, Modern Milkman uses intelligent data and analytics to map out milk rounds, assess demand and reduce carbon emissions. The business works closely with decision intelligence firm Peak AI, another Praetura Ventures portfolio company, to combine information, such as shelf-life dates, customer ordering patterns and warehouse data to ensure customers receive deliveries on time with minimum waste in the supply chain.

Modern Milkman, which has 19 hubs across England, also works with independent suppliers and farmers to deliver grocery products, including eggs, yogurt and bakery items to fruit and vegetables.

The business was founded in 2018 by Simon Mellin, who has previously worked with grocery brands such as HelloFresh, with the commitment to make a positive impact on the planet and revolutionise convenience shopping. Modern Milkman has since experienced rapid growth, opening offices in Manchester, London and Lille, France, and was named the fastest-growing company in the North by GP Bullhound in 2022.

As part of its commitment to create a more sustainable shopping experience, the business uses zero oil-based plastics and last year it introduced the UK’s first return and reuse initiative for freshly squeezed orange juice. Modern Milkman’s app is designed to help consumers reduce food waste by allowing users to shop little and often, without compromising on sustainability.

Praetura’s investment is part of Modern Milkman’s wider fundraising plans and will support the business’ ongoing scaling and sustainability efforts, which have so far seen the company save over 46.5m plastic bottles.

This latest investment falls in line Praetura Ventures’ continued pledge to back early-stage tech businesses and the North’s founder ecosystem with enhanced ‘more than money’ support. This is particularly through mentoring from Praetura’s operational partners – top business leaders from brands such as Apple, Dr Marten’s and AO.com – who provide expert advice and insight to portfolio founders.

The news takes the total number of businesses in the Praetura Ventures portfolio to 28, with Modern Milkman joining other successful tech businesses such as XR Games, SteamaCo, Orka, Sparkbox and Fluid.work. Praetura recently announced £125m in funding raised since launching its maiden EIS fund The Praetura EIS Growth Fund in 2019.

David Foreman, managing director of Praetura Ventures, said: “We are far from alone in our admiration of Modern Milkman, which has grown at a highly impressive pace and is now eyeing global expansion. As well as the company’s unique and innovative approach to the grocery sector, what attracted us are its highly authentic sustainability pledges and plans to significantly curb plastic use. The business and its founder Simon represent a new generation of Northern businesses, that are transcending sectors and putting the region at the forefront of UK innovation.”

Simon Mellin, founder and CEO of Modern Milkman, added: “As a business proud of our Northern roots we’re thrilled to have secured the support of Praetura Ventures for the next phase of our journey. We’re excited by the opportunity to collaborate and learn from them and their impressive portfolio of tech businesses as we continue on our objective to achieve the scale and consumer loyalty we need to realise our vision to reset our throwaway society.

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