Boxwize (t/a Bother) secures £4.4 million Seed Follow On investment from Sun Hung Kai & Co and Venrex Investment Management

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8th March 2021

  • Bother has won £4.4m in pre-Series A investor funding from early backers of Uber, Just Eat and Not on the High Street. 
  • The online retailer is set to challenge supermarkets by simplifying the replenishment of household essentials, so people never run out
  • By freeing people from the boring basics, Bother will encourage consumers to shop local for the rest

Bother, the grocery delivery start-up revolutionising household shopping, has secured £4.4m in pre-Series A funding from investors. Backers include Sun Hung Kai & Co and Venrex Investment Management, who identified the potential and invested in Uber, Just Eat and Not on the High Street. 

The online retailer simplifies the replenishment of household necessities, ensuring consumers never run out of the boring basics. Using AI technology, the Bother Brain™ pre-empts the quantities a customer needs and how frequently. Bother then delivers boxes with a free next day service, no substitutions and no need to book a delivery slot. 

Founder and CEO, Douglas Morton, created the service less than a year ago after identifying how outdated the grocery market is. The majority of consumers still buy household essentials from a supermarket along with their groceries because it is convenient. However, there is a growing shift in what consumers want. Increasingly, consumers want to support local retailers and producers and make more environmentally conscious choices, yet retain the convenient solution that supermarkets offer. Bother addresses each of these needs. 

In the wake of Covid-19, consumers are expected to continue wanting to support local business. Bother encourages and facilitates this by delivering non-refrigerated items – such as cleaning products and store cupboard essentials – direct to consumers’ doorsteps, so they can shop local for fresh produce. 

As well as supporting local businesses, Bother’s service also addresses two sustainability problems caused by supermarkets. Firstly, over 50% of the un-recyclable plastic waste in the UK is wrapping around fresh produce in supermarkets; consumers can reduce their plastic usage by buying fresh locally and using Bother for everything else. Secondly, supermarkets use refrigerated vans to deliver ambient products, which uses unnecessary amounts of energy. 

Douglas Morton, Bother Founder & CEO comments:

“There is no reason for dishwasher tablets to be delivered in a refrigerated van. It is neither convenient, cost effective nor environmentally sustainable. With the rise of Deliveroo, recipe boxes and on-demand groceries, food can be delivered with increasing convenience, but bulky household items still lag behind, sold predominantly through the same channels they have been for 70 years – the supermarkets.  

“One of Bother’s main goals is to redress the inefficiencies that have built up over generations of traditional grocery shopping. After years of lagging innovation in the industry, there is a real need to challenge the hold that supermarkets have, observe and forecast changes in consumer behaviour, and provide a solution that offers consumers what they really want. As we continue to present our ‘Shop simple. Live smart.’ model, we hope to be at the forefront of innovation in retail, giving our customers the ability to simplify the basics, and focus on the things that matter.’”

Mr Seng Huang Lee, Executive Chairman of Sun Hung Kai & Co, comments:

“As part of our Venture Capital business, we look for companies that are thinking about real world problems and providing innovative solutions that have the potential to scale, the opportunity to disrupt large industries and the expertise to execute. Bother has positioned itself very well in all these areas within an industry that seems overdue for change. We are excited to add this investment to our portfolio of disruptive global companies.” 

Mark Esiri, Managing Partner and Founder, Venrex Investment Management, comments:

“Venrex loves to back unconventional people, going against the tide, in conventional industries. The last investment banker to go into groceries was Tim Steiner at Ocado. Douglas Morton is someone who recognises that the best opportunities are, as my former boss used to say, “where the rubber meets the sky”. Big and innovative ideas meeting crisp execution.”

Already seeing a 10x growth over the past six months, and with deals in place with major FMCG companies including Reckitt Benckiser, Unilever, Kraft and Heinz, Bother’s success looks set to skyrocket. 

The Bother team includes founding employees of Deliveroo, Just Eat and Farmdrop with an impressive advisory panel of senior executives from Ocado, THG and Amazon Fresh. Just seven months into their operation, Bother already has a clear line of sight to profitability with a model that boasts structurally better unit economics, higher AOVs, better retention, and less capital to scale.

  • ENDS     –

Notes to Editors

Bother was founded by Douglas Morton, an ex-Hedge Fund Manager and Head of Asia Pacific Research for one of the largest custodial banks in the world.

Sun Hung Kai & Co (SEHK:86) is a global leader in alternative investing headquartered in HK. Established in 1969 with around HK$43bn in assets, they have seen previous investment success with early stakes in Uber, DiDi and Ola. Alongside their stakes in the likes of Cambridge Innovation Capital they also have significant global eCommerce expertise with holdings in the likes of DST Global and Wish.

Venrex Investment Management is one of the UK’s best known early-stage investors with a strong 16-year track record of early-stage investing in fast growing businesses, with a focus on consumer industries’ technology transition. Early-stage success stories for them include Revolut, Lyst, Just Eat, Charlotte Tilbury and Not On The High Street.

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Safiya Marzook

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