Thursday 16 August 2018

Food start-ups whet investor appetite with fresh funding rounds

Investors have pumped more cash into the likes of Gousto and Feast It.

Gousto has raised another £28.5 million (Gousto/PA)
Gousto has raised another £28.5 million (Gousto/PA)

By Ravender Sembhy and Kalyeena Makortoff, Press Association City Staff

Meal-kit firm Gousto has raised £28.5 million in fresh funding as the company aims to use artificial intelligence to further tap the multi-billion market.

The cash was raised from Hargreave Hale, Angel CoFund, MMC Ventures and BGF Ventures, bringing the total amount raised to £56.5 million.

Gousto, which was founded in 2012 by Timo Boldt, is also backed by Unilever, which did not participate in the latest funding round.

It currently delivers more than one million meals a month, with prices starting from £2.98, and by 2025 the firm wants to be serving up 400 million meals in the UK.

Mr Boldt said: “Our commitment to technology has seen us create a leading value proposition, driving customer satisfaction levels 56% higher than the UK’s leading supermarket.

“Over the next year, we’ll win even more of the one billion meals eaten in the UK, by prioritising investment in AI and automation to ‘wow’ customers.

“New funding allows us to continue transforming the grocery market and supporting the British economy with the creation of new jobs, with our headcount expected to increase two-fold over the next few years.”

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Street food catering platform Feast It has also whet investor appetite, having secured a further £680,000 in funding from the likes of Browns restaurants founder Jeremy Mogford and former ARM Holdings CFO and British Land director Tim Score.

The company – which allows customers to book 300 independent caterers that might usually be seen at street markets and food truck pop-ups – said it will use the cash to fuel its expansion across the UK and broaden its offerings “beyond food and drink”.

It brings Feast It’s fundraising to £1 million over the past 12 months, during which time it grew 400% as it worked to gain a foothold in the £42.3 billion UK events industry.

Co-founder Digby Vollrath said: “It’s not surprising we’ve seen an explosion in consumer demand for the very best suppliers.

“There are over 7,000 companies offering catering in the UK and with so much choice and noise in the industry, there is a clear need for a platform to make people’s lives easier.

“Feast It hand-picks the best possible suppliers, big or small, with the simple aim of taking the hassle out of organising events. We’ve done everything from a 20-person dinner party to a 40,000-person festival so far.”

Feast It says it has worked in collaboration with the likes of Disney, Amazon and Soho House since its launch in early 2017.

Press Association

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