CHICAGO — Urban convenience-store retailer Foxtrot has received a $17 million growth funding round co-led by Imaginary and Wittington Ventures and has two new locations slated to open soon, the company has announced.
Existing investors Fifth Wall, Lerer Hippeau, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, M3 Ventures, The University of Chicago, Collaborative VC and Wasson Enterprise also participated in the new round of funding, along with new investors Bluestein Associates and Barshop Ventures.
Foxtrot’s stores represent “a digitally native evolution of the corner store/cafe that marries the best of neighborhood retail and e-commerce technology to offer a thoughtfully curated collection of daily essentials, coffee and prepared foods available in-store or delivered in under an hour,” the Chicago-based chain said.
“Foxtrot has built a brand that redefines the perception of what convenience stores can and should be for today’s consumers by marrying its digital roots with brick-and-mortar, focusing on community and bringing people into the stories around their product,” said Nick Brown, co-founder and managing partner of Imaginary. “Seeing the loyalty of their customers over the past few years and how they’ve grown with Foxtrot, it’s clear to us that Mike and his team have created a unique omnichannel experience that we’re eager to partner with and take to the next level.”
This latest round of funding will allow Foxtrot to expand its corporate team and meet the demand for growth, including the launch this spring of two Washington, D.C., locations, in Georgetown and in Mount Vernon. Foxtrot is also slated to open its eighth location in Chicago, which will bring its total to 12 locations in three markets: Chicago, Dallas and Washington, D.C.
The company said it will announce additional markets later in 2020.
Foxtrot has seen 150% year-over-year growth of its e-commerce customer base, 250% year-over-year growth of its corporate team head count and two-times year-over-year revenue growth, the company said.
Loyalty program customers shop at Foxtrot 10 times per month on average across both retail and e-commerce channels, it said.
Each Foxtrot retail location features hand-selected local and heritage products such as craft beer, wine, spirits, food, gifts and everyday essentials, as well as Foxtrot-branded and private-label items including coffee and prepared food, which account for 50% of sales. Consumers can also order in-store products through the Foxtrot app and e-commerce site and select on-demand delivery.
“We started Foxtrot to create a better way to shop for the goods we all buy every day, wrapped in a new kind of convenience store that combines the enjoyment of visiting your neighborhood corner store with the ease of shopping from your phone,” said Mike LaVitola, co-founder and CEO of Foxtrot. LaVitola was among CSP’s2018 Indie Innovators.
“Customers can visit us in store to grab a cup of coffee, have lunch and discover new brands or shop us online to get their favorite wine and grocery staples delivered,” LaVitola said. “Since opening our first location, our loyal customer base has grown to become a community. With this latest round of funding, we look forward to expanding even faster as we grow our team and add more local partners, open new locations and continue developing our Foxtrot line of products.”
London-based Imaginary Ventures is a venture capital fund founded by Dame Natalie Massenet and Nick Brown that invests in early-stage opportunities at the intersection of retail and technology in Europe and the United States. It focuses on innovations in retail and commerce. Wittington Ventures, Toronto, is a venture capital firm that invests in the North American commerce, healthcare and food sectors.