Dumpling, the first and only company that empowers individuals to launch, run and grow independent grocery shopping and delivery businesses, announced $6.5 million in Series A funding. The funding round was led by Forerunner Ventures — a new partner for Dumpling — as well as existing investors Floodgate and FUEL Capital, and brings the company’s total raise to $10 million.
“Dumpling is a dramatic evolution in the face of the severely broken gig economy. We empower disenfranchised gig workers to be truly independent business owners and enable them to build financial stability and wealth for the long term,” said Joel Shapiro, co-founder and co-CEO, Dumpling. “Now, with the stark reality that millions of jobs lost due to COVID-19 may not return, Americans more than ever need a more viable, sound and flexible way to earn a living.”Joel Shapiro
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dumpling has seen an unprecedented 20x surge in order volume that has sustained as people are returning to their routines. Dumpling powers more than 2,000 grocery shopping and delivery businesses across all 50 states, providing the tools, technology, and business support that individuals need. Since shoppers recruit their own customers, Dumpling’s business model is far more capital efficient than previous gig companies. Personal shoppers set their own schedules and pricing, and keep 100 percent of their tips, earning on average three times more than Instacart workers. In turn, clients trust the personal shopper they choose with large, repeat orders, and receive a more personal, higher-caliber level of service.
“We believe that the future of work – and local communities – will be built on ownership and trust,” said Nate D’Anna, co-founder and co-CEO, Dumpling. “We are investing in features and tools for business owners to power sustainable connections with their clients. Forerunner takes this same people-centered approach, and has a long history of identifying and supporting companies innovating at the cusp of dramatic behavior shifts.”
With Forerunner, Dumpling joins a portfolio of companies successfully transforming their categories, including the likes of Dollar Shave Club and Warby Parker — companies that leverage technology to drive personalized experiences.
“Even after billions of dollars in investment, gig app companies still can’t create a consistent experience for consumers,” says Brian O’Malley, General Partner at Forerunner Ventures. “The issue is that too much effort is spent automating people out of the process versus empowering individuals in the field to offer more personal and consistent experiences. Dumpling flips the model on its head, taking the exploited workers and enabling them to launch their own digitally-native service business. At a time when unemployment is at record highs, we’re proud to support Dumpling’s mission of getting people back working for the best boss around: themselves.”
Hear more from Dumpling’s founders here on the news.
Dumpling is the first and only company that empowers individuals to launch, run and grow independent grocery shopping and delivery businesses. Dumpling powers more than 2,000 grocery shopping and delivery business owners in all 50 states, providing the tools, technology, and business support that individuals need to succeed. This model also uplevels the client experience, allowing them to choose their own shopper and pay in-store prices with no mark-ups. Dumpling is transforming the future of the gig economy, while re-shaping the face of entrepreneurship and fueling support for local communities. Co-headquartered in Seattle and Berkeley, the company has raised $10 million from Forerunner, Floodgate, and FUEL Capital.