The British foodtech unicorn has seen demand for its personalised grocery delivery skyrocket, and revenues for the first half of this year surpass £83 million

By Murielle Gonzalez

Timo Boldt and the Gosto team
Timo Boldt and the Gosto team. Photo as seen on its Facebook Page

Timo Boldt, founder and chief executive of Gousto, is bullish on the prospects of the company’s growth – the mood emerges hot on the heels of becoming the UK’s fourth unicorn. The London-based meal delivery company raised £25 million in an equity round that valued the company in excess of $1 billion. Speaking with NutritionInvestor, Boldt explained how Gousto is gearing up for copping with the second lockdown across the UK.

“The news of a second lockdown is sadly challenging for many businesses. With demand expected to increase across the entire online grocery sector, we’re focused on increasing capacity further so we can serve even more people across the country,” he said.

Boldt said Gousto was experiencing rapid growth pre-Covid-19. “We have seen a doubling of demand, from 2.5 million meals monthly in January to 5 million in June.”

To cope with the expected uptake in demand, Gousto is expanding distribution centres and staff: “We have plans to increase our fulfilment centres from one to four.” Boldt said the second centre will open in Lincolnshire this year. Altogether, Gousto will create 1,000 new jobs by 2022.

Gousto: Foodtech unicorn

Gousto joins the ranks of the UK’s unicorns eight years after its launch. Others in the elite are open source security platform Synk and fellow consumer-facing and delivery-based retailers Gymshark and Cazoo.

In its latest funding round, which closed last Friday, Gousto welcomed equity investment from existing investors Perwyn and BGF. The company has raised £155m in equity funding to date across five rounds.

Gousto said the new equity funds will add additional growth capital to Gousto’s own positive cashflow. 

Andrew Wynn, founder and managing partner at Perwyn, said: “We continue to be excited about the sheer size of the market opportunity and impressed by the management team’s ability to deliver on its plans and navigate the complex challenges of 2020.”

Automation technology

Gousto combines personalised nutrition with a direct-to-consumer business model. Its fulfilment centres will utilise proprietary algorithms that maximise the speed of pick up, daily volumes and pick accuracy while minimising cost and food waste. 

This Gousto claims, enables the company to offer a winning customer proposition; providing the most recipe choice with over twice as many recipes as its nearest competitor, for the best value, delivered directly to customers’ doors in the quickest time. 

Photo as seen on Gousto’s Facebook page

“The latest £25 million fundraise will enable Gousto to scale further and faster, tripling capacity to serve more families during these difficult times, ensure the safety of our teams and create jobs across the entire business,” said Boldt.

Gousto reported revenues for the three years ending 31 December increased sixfold between 2016 and 2019, and growth has remained strong with revenues for the first half of this year surpassing the £83 million. 

The company has been profitable since the fourth quarter of last year and expects to generate a significant profit in 2020.

“Gousto’s superior technology and scale underpin its winning customer proposition and support its continued leadership of this fast-growing and profitable sector,” Wynn concluded.

Date published: 3 November 2020

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