A Yorkshire-based milk delivery company which found instant fame when it sheltered a reticent Boris Johnson in a refrigerator during the 2019 general election campaign has secured millions of pounds in new funding.
Sky News understands that ETF Partners, an environmentally focused investment fund, is injecting £5m into The Modern Milkman, which markets itself on its local sourcing and plastic-free supply chain.
The deal will be announced formally on Wednesday, according to the companies.
The Modern Milkman, which said it had seen a tenfold increase in revenues in 2020, is among a wave of home delivery companies which have benefited from the coronavirus pandemic.
Its offer to host the prime minister paid unexpected dividends in December 2019 when he joined the company for an early-morning delivery round.
Mr Johnson, however, decided against answering an ITV journalist’s questions and ducked into a fridge stacked with milk bottles – handing The Modern Milkman’s profile an instantaneous and unexpected boost.
Based in Pudsey, a Conservative-held constituency, it last raised seed funding of £500,000 in 2019.
The valuation attached to the latest funding round was unclear on Tuesday.
It makes tens of thousands of deliveries each week across Greater Manchester, Leeds and Lancashire, allowing customers to place orders until 9pm to ensure deliveries by 7.30am the following day.
The Modern Milkman claims to have mitigated the use of nine tons of single-use plastic through its service, which deploys returnable and reusable packaging.
Simon Mellin, the company’s founder and chief executive, said ETF Partners’ “insight, skill and experience in the sustainability space will help us deliver the positive impact we strive to have on the environment at pace, as we move forward with our expansion plans across the UK over the course of 2021”.
Tomer Strikovsky, an investment manager at ETF Partner, said: “In today’s world, many of us are looking to reduce our environmental impact on the planet, but convenience remains key to daily life.
“Consumers do not need to forego convenience when prioritising the sustainable environmental, economic, and social structures surrounding food delivery.
“We have full confidence that The Modern Milkman will play an essential role in changing how we consume food, and we continue to be impressed by the founders and their commitment to sustainability.”