Richmond venture capital firm leads $6.7 million investment in prepared meal service company

Richmond Times-Dispatch

NRV, a venture capital firm based in Richmond, has led a $6.7 million investment round in an Alexandria-based company that delivers professionally prepared meals catering to customers’ dietary goals.

The company, Territory, was founded in 2011 by Patrick Smith. It has expanded service into several markets, including Washington, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego.

“We make super-tasty, ready-to-eat meals that are built around helping people sustain their commitment to eating well, and eating for their health,” said Smith, the CEO.

Territory works with local chefs in each market on a revenue-sharing basis to prepare meals for customers, who make weekly orders at a cost of $10 to $13 per meal. Territory handles the delivery.

Along with NRV, other investors that participated in the recent funding round included Lewis & Clark Ventures of St. Louis; Upfront Ventures of Santa Monica, Calif.; The Motley Fool Holdings of Alexandria; and Middleland Capital of Washington.

NRV, formerly called New Richmond Ventures, provides capital and advice for startup companies with high-growth potential in the Richmond region and Virginia.

Territory is the third investment made by NRV from an early-stage growth fund that the venture capital firm started in 2016. The first two were Richmond-based companies: Nutriati, which makes chickpea-based, non-allergenic protein powder as a food ingredient; and Health Warrior, which makes chia seed-based energy bars.

“Territory is at the convergence between technology and healthy lifestyles, and we love that,” said Ted Chandler, co-founder and managing director of NRV. “Territory is right at that inflection point of bringing choice to health-conscious eaters, where they can get delicious meals that are prepared with the knowledge that the ingredients will fit their health objectives.”

Smith said Territory plans to use the funding to expand the markets it serves, and to further customize and personalize meal options for customers.

“We really are trying to support this personalization of nutrition in a way that nobody else is doing,” he said.

The origin of the name Territory, he said, “is all about finding your sweet spot, your personal territory” in healthy eating.

The company has no immediate plans to move into the Richmond market, though Chandler said NRV would like to see that.

“We certainly are working with the company to be able to extend their geographic reach to pick up Richmond at a future time,” he said.

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