Home » Forage Hires Lavian As Chief Operating Officer

Forage Hires Lavian As Chief Operating Officer

Ofek Lavian

Los Angeles-based Forage has named Ofek Lavian as its chief operating officer. The company helps grocers navigate the process of gaining USDA permission to accept EBT SNAP payments online.

Lavian will oversee the day-to-day operations, leading and scaling teams including product, operations and partnerships. Prior to joining Forage, Lavian led the payments and commerce product teams at Instacart, where he built the company’s core payments infrastructure and launched multiple products that drove billions in incremental impact during Instacart’s peak growth years.

These include launching new payment methods such as EBT/SNAP and PayPal, Instacart gift cards, prepaid cards, stored value and a co-branded credit card with Chase that will be launching later this year.

Before Instacart, Lavian was also a product manager for payments at Uber where he powered Uber’s global payments platform, responsible for processing tens of billions of dollars in payments volume in 60-plus countries. He led the launches of key payments products including Tipping, which contributed to billions in additional earnings paid out to drivers globally, the Uber Visa credit card, Uber gift cards and pay with Venmo, PayPal and Apple Pay.

“Ofek is one of the most knowledgeable payments experts in Silicon Valley – what he accomplished in two years at Instacart transformed the entire payments side of their business,” said Justin Intal, CEO and co-founder of Forage. “We are beyond excited for him to join our executive team and accelerate our timeline to help grocers and merchants of all sizes accept EBT payments online. Ofek is joining us at a very critical period in Forage’s growth, and his expertise in the payments space from working at tech leaders like Instacart and Uber will help fast track our product development and partnership plans.”

One in eight Americans receive government assistance to buy groceries. While over 247,000 brick and mortar grocery stores can accept SNAP benefits via EBT in store, only about 100 grocers accept it online. Many SNAP recipients are homebound, lack transportation or live in a food desert without easy access to grocery stores; many others want to avoid in-person shopping due to concerns about COVID but have no choice because they are not able to use their SNAP benefits online.

Forage is changing that by helping grocers navigate the complex process of gaining USDA permission to accept EBT SNAP payments online. While it could previously take 12-18 months, working with Forage can help grocers start processing EBT payments in one third the time.

Forage has an in-house team of payments and EBT experts and a software platform, plus existing relationships with e-commerce platforms such as Shopify and Flashfood, to accelerate the process.

“Forage is laying the foundation to solve a critical gap for the millions of Americans that rely on SNAP benefits to be able to buy groceries online,” said Lavian. “The opportunity here is enormous. Over the past two years at Instacart, I’ve witnessed firsthand the essential need for online grocery during the pandemic, especially for this underserved population that has struggled with food insecurity. Forage’s payments technology has the power to democratize access for basic needs such as groceries, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to work at a company that will bring that change to life.”

For more information, visit joinforage.com.

Featured Photos

Featured Photo WAFC Convention
Gaylord Rockies Resort
Aurora, Colorado
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap