In 2021, nearly 41.5 million Americans utilized SNAP benefits — previously known as food stamps — to help make ends meet. However, SNAP electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards aren’t accepted everywhere, especially by online grocery suppliers. San Francisco-based Forage is trying to change that, and thanks to $22 million in Series A funding, it’s one step closer to making online grocery shopping accessible.
The funding round was led by Nyca with participation from PayPal Ventures, EO Ventures, and angel investor and Instacart founder Apoorva Mehta. According to a statement from Forage, the fresh funding will be used for product development and new hires.
“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,” Forage co-founder and CEO Ofek Lavian said in a statement.
Forage is more than a third-party payment processor for SNAP EBTs. The company also helps merchants navigate the USDA approval process which allows them to accept EBTs online. With a team of EBT and payment experts, some of which are former Instacart and Freshop employees, Forage is already working with dozens of popular grocers. For instance, it recently launched Forage EBT Gateway, the first app that allows Shopify merchants to accept EBT payments, according to the company.
“Forage is tackling a critical problem for consumers and merchants as more groceries are bought online,” Nyca partner Tom Brown said in a statement. “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.”