Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

City fund gives $200K to veggie-burger delivery service

Lucinda Duncalfe's Real Food delivery service is VC target

City fund gives $200K to veggie-burger delivery service

A screen grab from the web site realfoodworks.com.
A screen grab from the web site realfoodworks.com.

(Updated with more pricing info, history) The Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp., a joint venture of the city and its chamber of commerce, has partnered with Josh Kopelman's First Round Capital to split a new $200,000 investment in Real Food Works, a 10-person company based at 224 Juniper St. in Center City and run by serial entrepreneur and Penn grad Lucinda Bronwyn Duncalfe, which "encourages people to eat healthy food," Mayor Nutter said in a statement.

Real Food is kind of an upscale Whole Foods Market version of Nutri/System: Starting at $89 and going up to $300 a week, it delivers "all-natural" meals made at local restaurants. It's the first target of Startup PHL, a $6M investment fund partly backed by PIDC and run by First Round, which is based in West Philly just off the Penn campus. Real Food Works was also backed by the state-funded Ben Franklin Technology Partners. 

Duncalfe, who has started other companies Kopelman backed, ran ClickEquation, a small Conshohocken paid-search firm sold to Florida-based Channel Intelligence for an undisclosed price in 2011. She also joined Ira Lubert and other big Philly-area investors as a backer of Zestra Labs, which was working on a "female Viagra". In the 1990s she ran Destiny WebSolutions, a state-funded firm (Ben Franklin Technology Partners was also a backer) which employed more than 100 at its Conshohocken headquarters in the 1990s building Web sites for Vanguard, Wilmington Trust and other companies, but closed most operations in 2001 after having a tough time making the switch to recurring services.

Joseph N. DiStefano
About this blog

PhillyDeals posts raw drafts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area finance, investment, commercial real estate, tech, hiring and public spending, which he's been writing since 1989, mostly for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn, taught writing at St. Joe's, and has written the book Comcasted, more than a thousand columns, and thousands of articles, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com or 215 854 5194.

Joseph N. DiStefano
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