Gousto becomes UK’s latest tech Unicorn
- New £25m (US$33m) fund raising surpasses US$1 billion valuation
- Monies will bring forward the opening of new automated fulfilment centres to serve ongoing strong demand
- Total £155m (US$200m) equity funding to date across 5 rounds
Gousto, the UK’s leading recipe box provider, is delighted to announce that it has become only the 4th UK company in 2020 to achieve ‘Tech Unicorn’ status, following hot on the heels of Synk and fellow consumer-facing businesses Gymshark and Cazoo1. Just 8 years since launch, Gousto joins an elite group of 19 venture-backed UK businesses, including the likes of Deliveroo, that have achieved a valuation of at least US$1 billion.1
In its latest funding round, which closed on [30 Oct 2020], Gousto raised £25m (US$ 33m) of new equity from existing investors Perwyn and BGF at a valuation in excess of US$1 billion. The new equity funds will add additional growth capital to Gousto’s own positive cashflow.
The latest fund raising is in-line with Gousto’s stated strategy, of at least tripling capacity by 2022, with the opening of three new customer fulfilment centres and the creation of 1,000 new jobs over the period. The Company’s second fulfilment centre in Lincolnshire is scheduled to go live before the end of 2020 and the development of centres three and four are being brought forward to meet the strong ongoing customer demand.
Gousto is the global leader in automation technology within the sector and all of the fulfilment centres will utilise the Company’s proprietary algorithms which maximise speed of pick, daily volumes and pick accuracy, whilst minimising cost and food waste. This enables Gousto 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.
This is what has led to Gousto’s rapid success. 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 2020 surpassing the £83m (US$108m) reported for the whole of 2019. Topline growth, combined with operational gearing has enabled Gousto to reach profitability faster than many leading tech peers. Gousto has been profitable since Q4 2019 and expects to generate a significant profit in 2020.
Having founded the business at the age of 26, Timo Boldt, Founder & CEO of Gousto commented:
“Achieving tech unicorn status and joining the ranks of those elite companies that have attained a billion dollar valuation is a proud moment for the entire Gousto team and all of our shareholders but we are still only just getting started. The market opportunity ahead of us is vast, as changes in consumer behaviour drive permanent change through the entire grocery market.
Our obsession with technology enabled us to scale our operations at speed in the first half of the year to meet an unprecedented and rapid increase in demand, with monthly meal deliveries doubling from 2.5m in January to 5m in June. The latest £25m fund raise will enable Gousto to scale further and faster, triple capacity to serve more families during these difficult times, ensure the safety of our teams and create jobs across the entire business. Gousto’s success is rooted in its absolute focus on delivering for its growing number of new and loyal customers the widest choice, the best value and the greatest convenience.”
Andrew Wynn, Founder and Managing Partner at Perwyn commented
“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. Gousto’s superior technology and scale underpin its winning customer proposition and support its continued leadership of this fast growing and profitable sector.”
Natalie Jay 07793 821 239
Emily Hoyland 07850 671 660
Mark Reed 07903 089 543
1 Source Beauhurst – list updated 23 October 2020
Notes to editors
Founded in 2012, Gousto pioneered the recipe box offering in the UK. Conceived whilst working long hours in the finance industry, Founder and CEO Timo Boldt, identified a need for convenient and easy to cook recipes that offered exciting variety at home, whilst reducing food waste. Timo realised that the optimal solution required a regular delivery service direct to people’s homes with all of the ingredients provided and already measured out, with easy to follow recipe cards. At the age of 26 Timo quit his job to found Gousto. To help fund the business, Timo moved into student accommodation where he would pack Gousto boxes before hand-delivering them to customers.
Initially funded from his own savings and then followed up with a friends and family round, Gousto has since gone through five funding rounds, raising over £155m in equity from leading investors including Perwyn Private Equity, Canaccord Genuity, Unilever Ventures, BGF, MMC Ventures and Joe Wicks – who in addition to being an investor and brand ambassador, also has his own Joe Wicks ‘Lean in 15’ range of recipes on the Gousto site.
Gousto has achieved rapid growth with sales increasing six fold between 2016 and 2019. Gousto’s financial success has been recognised in the Sunday Times Tech Track 100 ranking of Britain’s fastest growing private companies for the last three years. In 2020, Gousto was ranked 257 in the FTs list of Europe’s 1,000 fastest growing Companies.
Gousto’s differentiation to peers lies in its almost 200 person strong tech team and its focus on data and artificial intelligence, which power all its operations including its automated fulfilment centre Spalding, Lincolnshire and enable its market leading customer proposition – the most recipe choice, at the lowest price, delivered in the shortest lead time. Its intelligent use of data has facilitated the creation of the first recipe box recommendation engine – ‘the Spotify for food’.