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Christmas cuisine part two: investing time

07 December 2016|by Eleanor Sharman

As Christmas approaches, the topic on everybody's mind is the same: food. With that in mind, we've put together a rundown of homemade British startups active in the culinary sphere – from underground herbs to brilliant new gadgets, take a look at our collection of kitchen delights (and lift the lid on the money behind the magic)...

This is the second post of a three-part miniseries, designed to showcase the best of British startups when it comes to Christmas cuisine.


There's more to Christmas than receiving presents: the festive season is traditionally a time for sharing time with family and friends. But gifts aren't the only sort of sharing on offer: below, we profile three of the most innovative companies bringing people together over food.

1. EatAbout 

Screen Shot 2016-11-22 at 15.06.47.pngWho? Launched in November of just last year, EatAbout is co-founded and run by Philip Källberg – a former employee of both Spotify and Google – and Felix Bråberg, of Capco and GlaxoSmithKline. The business is located in the West Midlands, and seeks to provide an alternative to traditional restaurants.

What? Similar to GrubClub, EatAbout operates an online platform which allows chefs to advertise meals that they will cook in their own home for customers. Chefs post pictures of their food and menus online, along with prices per person, and individuals or groups can request specific dates to visit and dine. A reviewing system ensures accountability and quality.

How? EatAbout has secured £30k in investment over one fundraising, which took place in September of this year. A stake of just 2.9% was taken, and the company's pre-money valuation at the time was £1m. Both of the co-founders offer bookable meals in their own homes.


2. City Pantry


Who? Founded in 2013, City Pantry is an online marketplace for ready-to-eat food deliveries in London. It was founded by Stuart Sunderland, formerly of BGC Partners, and is based in Maidenhead in Berkshire. 

What? City Pantry specialises in office catering, and is used by hundreds of vendors to sell their buffets or individual dishes to hungry corporations. The customer can sort companies by cuisine, location, price, type of event, and many other characteristics.

How? City Pantry has secured £1.49m over three fundraisings thus far, with investors including TrueStart, The London Co-Investment Fund, the Angel CoFund, and London Business Angels. Its latest pre-money valuation was £3.1m, and it is the first company on this list to be categorised as venture-stage.


3. Olio

Screen Shot 2016-11-22 at 16.18.20.pngWho? Olio is a seed-stage company founded at the start of 2015. It is the only startup in this list to feature women in its C-suite: the co-founders are Tessa Cook, formerly of Dyson and nCube, and Saasha Celestial-One, whose experience includes McKinsey, Morgan Stanley, and American Express. Both invested personally into Olio.

What? OLIO develops an app that allows individuals and businesses to list food items close to their sell-by date, for locals to purchase or pick up free-of-charge in order to reduce food wastage. Users are also able to list other household items on the app. 

How? Olio has secured £1.79m over two fundraisings; one last December, backed by Accel Partners, and one in September of this year. Its pre-money valuation as of September was £4m, making it the highest-valued company on this shortlist, despite its status as seed-stage.



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