Food delivery service Gousto turns to corporate venture for Series A

Former failed Dragons' Den pitcher Gousto has further utilised venture capital investment by raising an additional £5 million.

Unilever Ventures has joined existing backer MMC Ventures in supporting the growth efforts of food-based start-up Gousto.

Set up in 2012 by Timo Schmidt and James Carter, Gousto provides a service whereby fresh food boxes containing ingredients and recipes are delivered to customers’ doors.

Having taken their business onto the BBC’s Dragons’ Den in August 2013 the duo failed to secure investment after revealing that they were already in advanced negotiations with angel investors. Shortly after an angel investment from industry experts was announced, after which the start-up then closed two further rounds including a £1.2 million deal led by MMC Ventures in December.

Unilever Ventures, the venture investment division of consumer goods company Unilever, has now stepped in as a new investor. The £5 million fundraising it has led will go towards investing in innovation and product development alongside bettering the customer experience.

Schmidt, CEO of Gousto, comments, ‘The UK grocery market is worth £200 billion, and there has been a seismic shift from offline to online. Our extreme focus on quality and the fact that customers can chose the recipes they love, makes Gousto completely unique.

‘The funding is amazing news for customers as it will be entirely used to make their lives even easier and better.’

The Series A funding round also sees Unilever Ventures director Jan Harley join the board at Gousto, where he will sit alongside MMC Venture investment partner Jon Coker.

Harley adds, ‘Gousto has a great combination – a brilliant consumer proposition and a strong and innovative management team.

‘We anticipate that the market will grow very strongly over the next few years and see Gousto as a potential market leader.

Founded in 2002, Unilever Ventures invests in start-ups that can ‘benefit from access to Unilever’s assets and capabilities and that are strategically relevant to Unilever’.

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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