Fresh At Heart, an online fresh food retailer in Malaysia, has secured RM1,149,580 (US$275,000) from 22 individual investors through online equity crowdfunding (ECF) platform Ata Plus, overshooting its target by 143 per cent.
The company said in a statement that it will use the funds to expand its offline presence in urban areas and increase marketing efforts, as it sets out to expand nationwide.
“This investment will help fuel our ambition to deepen our reach to users, particularly to Malaysia’s major cities where consumers do not necessarily have direct access to the freshest produce,” said Joel Chong, Co-founder and COO of Fresh At Heart. “We’re used to having digital services simplify other aspects of our lives, and consumers are now turning to Fresh At Heart as their go-to solution for eating safely and healthily.”
Founded in 2016 by Chong and Eddie Goh, Fresh At Heart aims to become the go-to stop for fresh, naturally-sourced food. By eliminating the supply chain between fresh food producers and end-consumers and working directly with local producers, the company provides a channel for urban consumers to receive fresh food direct from the producers.
Its online store offers the fresh catch of the day from the Johor coastal district — cleaned and delivered to the customer’s doorstep or to be picked up in-store from its 16 locations across Malaysia’s major cities.
Since launch, the venture has grown its online following to 30,000 and has seen steady growth in sales, hitting RM200,000 in monthly sales last quarter, it claims.
“Through our crowdfunding campaign, we are welcoming 22 new backers who can spread the word about our business and help us make strategic connections as we expand nationwide. By building a wide base of investors, we have gone beyond just acquiring capital and gained a crowd of loyal Fresh At Heart ambassadors across Malaysia and Singapore,” said CEO Goh.
Fresh At Heart’s fully subscribed fundraising round marks the third successful ECF campaign on Ata Plus’s platform in one week.
“Following successful funding rounds by VendPays and MedPlanner, we’re delighted to facilitate a fruitful crowdfunding campaign for Fresh At Heart. The fresh food industry is about to see exponential growth as the new funding takes Fresh At Heart through the next stage of its development,” said Elain Lockman, Co-founder and Director of Ata Plus.