Hailed as the biggest hope for the British high street, Hubbub.co.uk consolidates the best independent shops, producers and markets on its online platform. Marisa Leaf and William Reeve, co-CEOs, highlight the company’s journey over the past two years and plans for the future
Hubbub.co.uk – a snapshot
Hubbub.co.uk brings the best independent shops, producers and markets together in one simple delivery, making it easy for people to shop locally, and helping small shops challenge the dominance of the supermarkets.
Based in: London
Founded in: 2014
No. of employees: 17
Presenting at Tech Invest: William Reeve, co-CEO
William Reeve is a serial entrepreneur and internet investor who has served on the boards of several high-growth businesses including Graze.com, Media Ingenuity, Paddy Power PLC, Secret Escapes and Zoopla.co.uk. Prior to that, William co-founded and built two businesses into leaders in their fields: Fletcher Research and LOVEFiLM.com.
Inside track with Marisa Leaf
In hindsight, I would…
…raise more money sooner, and test and iterate faster. I started Hubbub solo, having been a human rights barrister beforehand. I had little capital and wasn’t plugged into the investor community so I iterated slowly and cautiously. With hindsight, I’d have raised investment sooner and iterated faster to take greater advantage of the first mover advantage we had.
As soon as we did that – raising a seed round in 2014 – it allowed us to hire a team for growth, develop scalable marketing channels and upgrade our technology. We turbo-charged the business, quadrupling sales and increasing active customers sevenfold.
Ultimate business motto?
Listen to your stakeholders. It sounds like a platitude, but paying attention to what the key players in our business want and giving them a hand in shaping its future has helped us build a better, stronger business with very loyal partners. We do everything we can to facilitate good open communications channels with our shop partners, customers and investors.
What motivates your team?
“Family-spirited” sums us up well. We’re a close-knit, highly collaborative team. The culture is plain-speaking, open and transparent. We have weekly operations meetings, the slides from which are shared with the whole team, and monthly “all-hands” to which everyone, including all our drivers, is invited. Everyone in the business has a strong sense of ownership.
We’re also pretty geeky about food. We all eat lunch together every day, taking it in turns to order food for the week, cook for each other and clear up afterwards. It’s a great way to make sure everyone gets to know the people they don’t work directly with too, you learn some pretty cool life skills, like how to plan, budget and cook food for 20 people every week – and of course we all get to enjoy the amazing food and drink we sell!
We’re driven by a deep passion to create a better alternative to uniform high streets, mass-produced food and boring interaction, and to help the small, diverse food and drink businesses at the heart and soul of our communities triumph.
- Food and drink made with care and skill by London’s best independent shops, producers and market stalls
- Focus on provenance and high quality fresh ingredients
- Range includes meat, fish, fruit and veg, cupboard essentials, handmade ready meals, dairy and eggs, bakery and confectionary, craft beer, wine, spirits, organic and free-from foods.
- Proprietary and in-house. Built on Ruby, MySQL, Amazon Web Services, Heroku, Reddis
- Numerous mission-critical applications. Our underlying platform, whose nickname is GETAFIX (as its magic helps us make small shops invincible), supports: customer website, iOS app, shop intranet, shop app, driver app, CS apps, head office reporting
Since its seed round, the business has:
- Tripled the number of shops trading on Hubbub.co.uk
- Quadrupled sales
- Increased active customers sevenfold
- Doubled marketing efficiency
Hubbub.co.uk is raising investment to build greater density in its existing delivery areas, and extend its service to more neighbourhoods across London.
- 100+ of the best-loved independent shops, producers and markets
- Includes Ginger Pig butchers, La Fromagerie, E5 Bakehouse, Kernel Brewery and fourth generation Portobello Road market stallholder Cheryl Devlin (Ottolenghi’s greengrocer of choice)
- £2.5 million seed investment raised in 2014/15
- Led by Octopus Ventures
- Participated in by the Mayor’s MMC London fund and many of London’s leading internet entrepreneurs including the founders of Secret Escapes, Graze, Songkick and Lyst
Unit 16 The Tay Building, 2a Wrentham Avenue, London NW10 3HA
Tel: 0203 026 5140