The deal through Barilla’s corporate venture arm Blu1877 expands its UK reach and reveals interest in growing presence in digital markets
Pasta Evangelists' chefs
Photo as seen on Pasta Evangelists’ Facebook page

Italian food giant Barilla has acquired UK start-up Pasta Evangelists. The challenger brand operates as a subscription-based food delivery business and has gained traction in the cook-at-home category since the onset of Covid-19.

“We’ll send everything you need to make restaurant-quality pasta at home, from fresh pre-portioned pasta to authentic sauces and garnishes sourced in Italy,” reads a statement on the company website.

Pasta Evangelist was founded by Alessandro Savelli in 2016, and the start-up has raised £5.2 million in venture capital. Great British Bake-Off judge Prue Leith among its shareholders.

In February the company closed a £3.5 million in a Series B round to continue developing its omnichannel approach across e-commerce, with listings in Ocado, M&S, Harrods and Deliveroo.

Product display of Pasta Evangelists
Photo as seen on Pasta Evangelists’ Facebook page

Savelli will continue at the helm of the Pasta Evangelists and the company will remain as a standalone business outside Barilla. Co-founders Chris Rennoldson and Finn Lagun will remain as shareholders.

Pasta Evangelists has reported sales increased more than 300% during last year, having sold in excess of one-million portions of pasta during the year, up from just 200 portions when it launched in 2016.

Barilla did not disclose the financials of the transaction, but two sources close to the matter said the company would pay around £40 million through Blue1877, its corporate venture arm.

Date published: 15 January 2021

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