Thrive Market thinks it can be an affordable online Whole Foods


TechCrunch recently took a trip down to Los Angeles for our meetup and to check in on the growing startup scene there.

One of the fast-growing businesses that’s been on our radar is Thrive Market. The online Costco-meets-Whole Foods recently raised $111 million from venture firms like Greycroft and celebrities like Demi Moore and John Legend to grow their organic foods business.

We spoke to co-CEOs Nick Green and Gunnar Lovelace in the above video about their plans for expansion and why they think they can stand out in what’s already a competitive landscape.

The mission of Thrive Market is “making healthy living affordable and accessible for every American family,” according to Green. The $60 annual membership fee helps Thrive offer items at what they claim is 25-50% below retail pricing.

Thrive Market says that because of the lower price point, the business has done especially well in regions like the midwest and the southeast, where affordable organic food is often less accessible.

With an emphasis on helping the less fortunate, Thrive has also been a leader in the movement to get food stamps online. Lovelace says he was inspired by his childhood, growing up “very poor with a single mom.”

Thrive says it is expanding beyond its retail business and will be creating more digital content, including recipes and videos about healthy living. They are hoping to become an all-encompassing lifestyle brand.

While Thrive has raised a lot of capital, they are in no rush to IPO. But maybe someday, said Green. Thrive is focused on growing the business and “if that means going public great, if that means it means staying as a profitable private company that’s fine, too.”