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Manchester VC Praetura invests £2.25m in online grocer The Modern Milkman

Simon Mellin and David Foreman

Praetura Ventures, the Manchester-based venture capital investor, has invested £2.25m in online grocery service Modern Milkman.

Colne, Lancashire-based Modern Milkman uses data and analytics to map out milk rounds, assess demand and reduce carbon emissions. It works closely with another Praetura Ventures portfolio company, the decision intelligence specialist Peak AI, to gather and 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 has 16 hubs across England and also works with independent suppliers and farmers to deliver other fresh grocery products including eggs, yoghurt, bakery items, 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 environmental impact on 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.

It 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.

“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,” said Simon Mellin, founder and CEO of Modern Milkman.

“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.”

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.

“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. 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,” added David Foreman, managing director of Praetura Ventures.

Praetura Ventures is a Manchester-based VC which invests in early-stage, high-growth businesses across the UK, with a particular focus on supporting entrepreneurs across the North of England.  

Since its launch in 2019, Praetura Ventures has raised over £100m through its Enterprise Investment Sceme and backed over 28 companies, including North West headquartered businesses Culture Shift, XR Games and Peak.

The VC’s operational partners include leaders from brands such as Apple, Dr Marten’s and AO.com, who provide expert advice and insight to portfolio founders.

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