Gousto has raised $100m in primary equity capital from investor SoftBank Vision Fund 2, with an additional $50m in new debt capital supplied by the UK’s two largest banks, HSBC and Barclays.
The funds will be deployed to invest in capacity and technology to drive ‘sustainable long-term growth’ and ‘service strong and accelerating demand’, according to the company.
New capital will be partly used to fund a fifth highly automated and AI-driven fulfilment centre near Birmingham. This will unlock 40% more capacity for Gousto, with four other automated fulfilment centres in Essex, Lincolnshire and Cheshire.
The group said these ambitious growth plans will enable it to further capitalise on the accelerating demand for recipe boxes and what it described as a ‘permanent shift’ toward online grocery.
“2022 is set to be another impressive year for Gousto, as we capitalise on the accelerated mega trends driving change in the grocery market: convenience, health, sustainability. This successful raise is further testament to the relevance and appetite for our recipe box solution,” CEO and founder Timo Boldt said.
“I’m delighted to welcome our new shareholders on board and look forward to working with them as we embark on our next stage of growth and get closer to achieving our vision of becoming the UK’s most loved way to eat dinner.”
The recipe kit provider, which has been valued at $1.7bn, claims to be the UK’s only profitable B Corp unicorn. Announcing the cash injection, the business stressed the importance of sustainability to its growth vision.
“Founded with a mission to reduce food waste, sustainability is at the heart of Gousto.”
Gousto became a certified B Corp in 2021 and a recent study from environmental services company Foodsteps suggested that dinners supplied by the business produce 23% less carbon emissions than equivalent means from supermarkets.
The new debt facility from HSBC and Barclays is aligned to Gousto’s sustainability goals, meaning that when these are achieved the interest rate paid by the company will reduce.
The business claims to offer ‘more choice than any other recipe box’, with over 60 recipes on the menu that change every week. Over a third of these can be customised, by switching proteins for example. Gousto has doubled its recipe choice in the past two years.
The company is due to release its full-year financial results in May but revealed that the news follows ‘another strong year’ in 2021.