The venture capital arm of Australian retail giant Woolworths is backing the London-based food search and discovery technology start-up
Spoon Guru co-founders, from left: Simon O’Regan, Markus Stripf and Tim Allen

Spoon Guru, a London-based AI-powered food search and discovery technology start-up, has secured a multimillion-dollar Series A funding round with W23, the venture capital arm of Australian retailer Woolworths Group.

Spoon Guru says its technology uses a combination of AI and machine learning to enable food retailers to deliver highly personalised experiences tailored to each customer, based on their distinct and unique dietary, health, and wellness needs.

Founded in 2015, the company launched in the UK with a partnership with Tesco and in 2018 partnered with Woolworths Group in Australia and New Zealand and afterwards signed further retail partnerships in the Netherlands and the US.

Spoon Guru stated it will use the investment to increase its footprint with retailers across Asia-Pacific, North America and Europe, and for product innovation instore and online.

Markus Stripf, co-founder of Spoon Guru, said: “With governments worldwide launching campaigns to tackle obesity and related lifestyle diseases, consumers are now thinking about how food impacts their health and wellness. There is a desire from shoppers for healthier choices and with a significant swing to online shopping, grocery retailers have the opportunity to use technologies like Spoon Guru to drive and scale healthier baskets. It is our mission to provide retailers with the tools they need to ensure healthier food discovery, thereby improving basket sizes and values and in turn driving customer loyalty and growth for our partners. The funding will ensure we can further develop our product suite and expertise in driving towards this goal.”

W23, was established by the Woolworths Group in 2019 to partner with innovative start-ups with a particular focus on next-generation consumer products and disruptive services. It has partnered with a range of businesses covering meal-kit deliveries, crowdsourced fulfilment, digital health, consumer goods, and search engine optimisation and search engine marketing.

Ingrid Maes, W23’s managing director, said: “Our investment in Spoon Guru fits perfectly into our portfolio of strategic partnerships with game-changing start-ups that are helping to shape the future of online retail. Spoon Guru’s specialist algorithms are already meeting the health goals and dietary requirements of millions of Woolworths’ customers. Our partnership model will give the team at Spoon Guru the freedom to continue doing what they do best, while also helping Woolworths differentiate its offer and accelerate the group’s ability to meet the changing health needs of customers. We look forward to being part of Spoon Guru’s next growth phase.”

Co-founder of Spoon Guru, Tim Allen, added: “W23 is recognised as the go-to venture capital fund for disruptors within the food and health-tech space. Having the retail and grocery expertise of Woolworths Group will be a significant asset to our efforts as we scale rapidly across APAC, North America and Europe.”

Ex-Asda chief executive Andy Clarke is the chairman of Spoon Guru.

Date published: 7 October 2020

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