SimplyCook Raises £4.5Million in Series A Funding
SimplyCook a London, UK-based recipe kit service that focuses on flavour ingredients, closed a £4.5m Series A funding. The round was led by Octopus Investments.
The company intends to use the funds to accelerate UK and international expansion and to grow its in technology, sales and marketing efforts.
Richard Hall, CloudOrigin CEO, led the technology and operational due diligence on behalf of Octopus Investments. “We enjoyed reviewing another UK growth e-commerce platform for Octopus, who are using bespoke technology to best advantage both for customer experience and warehouse logistics.”
Unlike other recipe or meal kits, such as HelloFresh, Gousto and Marley Spoon, U.K.-based SimplyCook doesn’t send all of the fresh ingredients required to turn its recipes into food on your table. Instead, the subscription service consists of recipe cards and what SimplyCook calls “ingredients kits,” which are herbs, spices, sauces and other extras needed to cook each meal.
Led by founder and CEO Oli Ashness, SimplyCook provides a subscription service that consists of recipe cards and ingredients kits, including herbs, spices, sauces and other extras needed to cook each meal. Boxes contains 4 recipes and 4 ingredient kits.
“Flavour products are used by over 50 percent of consumers weekly,” he says. “Whereas fresh food delivery still caters for maybe 0.25-0.5 percent of evening meals in the UK. Flavour already works as a way to get people cooking. Fresh Meal Kits are fairly unproven.”
Related to this, as well as selling subscriptions online, the company has launched SimplyCook recipe kits in physical retail stores. This is seeing it pursue a hybrid online/offline model that Ashness likens to healthy snack company Graze. (Notably, HelloFresh tried selling into grocery stores in the U.K., before cooling on the idea.)
“We also expect this funding round to fuel international launches,” adds the SimplyCook CEO, “[and to] provide working capital for the retail business and allow us to invest in technology to aid our operations. These investments we’ll make over the next 2 years.”
In 2015, the company received $1.1 million from Episode 1 Ventures.