Fast-growing direct-to-market meat supplier Our Cow has acquired the assets of failed grocery delivery service VOLY as the regional NSW agribusiness looks to ramp up operations in the key metropolitan Sydney market.
The Casino, NSW-based company, founded in 2019 by local farmers and Australian Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards finalists Bianca Tarrant and Dave McGiveron, has swooped on VOLY’s business name, customer database and delivery app in a bid to beef up its business which currently services 50,000 customers across Australia.
While the purchase price has not been disclosed, Tarrant tells Business News Australia that the move will shore up the company’s operations in NSW, which is currently the company’s largest consumer market.
“It doesn’t expand our geographic footprint, but it does expand our customer reach to be able to talk to more customers and offer them Our Cow produce,” says Tarrant.
“VOLY has done a good job building a brand and data base, along with customer loyalty. We just wanted to be able to align that with our business. That’s something we are really passionate about – creating a community.”
VOLY, a grocery delivery service founded by Mark Heath and Thibault Henry, was placed into administration in November amid a string of failures in the home delivery sector last year, including Deliveroo.
The start-up, which raised $18 million in seed funding at the end of 2021, had built its base in Sydney and planned to expand into Melbourne. However, it faced stiff competition from major retailers Woolworths (ASX: WOW) and Coles (ASX: COL) despite promising a rapid delivery service of 15 minutes.
Our Cow, which Tarrant says posted another record year in 2022, plans to retain the VOLY name and introduce the app’s existing database to its meat delivery service which was founded to support Australian farmers.
The company has a processing facility at Casino, in northern NSW, which employs more than 40 staff, and it plans to establish a warehouse facility in Sydney to meet growing demand.
Our Cow raised $2.5 million last year via crowdfunding and the company is planning another round at the end of this month on the Birchal platform, seeking $2.5 million to drive its expansion plans for 2023.
“We’re looking to continue growing on the trajectory we’re on,” says Tarrant. “We plan to increase our product range and focus on faster delivery times, as well as improving our technology for a better shopping experience for our customers.”
Tarrant and McGiveron established Our Cow after a couple of tough years for the beef industry which was hit by drought and fires in 2019 and then floods in 2020. The couple was working off-farm when Tarrant decided to start selling local beef via Facebook. Our Cow now supports more than 150 farmers across Queensland and NSW.
Tarrant credits Our Cow’s success on increasing awareness by consumers of the provenance of their produce.
“By supporting Our Cow, people know they are supporting Australian farmers and know where their food is coming from,” she says.
“All of our products are grass fed, organic and free range which offers unrivalled quality. We’ve really built a great brand that our customers can relate to.”
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