Forage raises $22m Series A
By Edlyn Cardoza
Forage, a payments processor that makes it easier for grocers to accept SNAP EBT (previously known as “food stamps”) payments online, announced that it has raised a $22 million Series A funding round to accelerate online grocery access for America’s 42 million SNAP EBT recipients. FinTech firm Nyca led the round with participation from PayPal Ventures, EO Ventures, and prominent angels, including Apoorva Mehta, founder of Instacart. Forage will use the funds primarily for product development and accelerate hiring to meet the high demand for the company’s solutions.
Ofek Lavian, co-founder and CEO of Forage, said, “This capital will help accelerate Forage’s mission to democratize access to government benefits. We’re proud of the technology we’ve built and are excited to expand the acceptance of SNAP EBT payments online for low-income Americans.”
One in eight Americans receives government assistance to buy groceries. Many SNAP recipients are homebound, lack transportation, or live in a food desert without easy access to grocery stores; many others want to avoid in-person shopping due to concerns about COVID. While many Americans were able to shift to online grocery shopping during the pandemic, SNAP recipients were not afforded this safety and convenience because they were effectively unable to use their benefits online.
Forage has an in-house team of EBT and payments experts, including former Instacart and Freshop employees. In addition to its stand-alone EBT solution, Forage developed and recently launched the first Shopify app that offers online EBT payment processing to Shopify’s ecosystem of merchants. The company is already working with dozens of grocers to help them accelerate their path to accepting SNAP EBT online.
“Forage is tackling a critical problem for consumers and merchants as more groceries are bought online,” said Tom Brown, Partner at Nyca Partners. “Nyca is excited to back the incredible team on their mission of making it as easy for eligible merchants to accept EBT as any other form of payment.”
Forage supports merchants through every step of the USDA approval process, from preparing the required documentation, through system engineering and testing, to deployment, making it as easy as possible for new merchants to accept EBT online, to open with the goal of opening the online EBT space to more merchants and ultimately more SNAP recipients.