Case Study: Gousto
In 2020, recipe box business Gousto reached a unicorn valuation of more than $1bn. Learn how funding from BGF helped accelerate its growth.
Timo Boldt, the founder of Gousto, was a 26-year-old hedge fund professional in London when he had the idea for a recipe box delivery company.
Because he worked such long hours, it was hard to find the time to scour through recipe books and buy ingredients, and when he did go shopping, he often had no choice but to buy more than he needed, which ended up going to waste.
Then he had a eureka moment. What about a business that allowed customers to order complete recipe kits online, delivered to their door, containing everything they needed to make a meal? Gousto was born.
A serious challenger
In the early days, Timo was known to hand-deliver recipe boxes around London and answer customer calls on his personal mobile phone at midnight. But not long after its launch in 2012, Gousto had grown into a serious challenger in a fast-growing new market.
The company now delivers over five million meals a month, and is backed by a number of big-name investors, including celebrity fitness coach Joe Wicks.
In 2015, BGF invested an initial £3 million as part of a funding round that included existing investors. Gousto used the funding to strengthen its team of chefs and nutritionists, and broaden its sales and marketing efforts to reach more customers.
BGF has since made seven follow-on investments, bringing its total investment in Gousto to £30 million.
The power of data
With support from BGF and other investors, Gousto has grown to employ about 1,000 people across its head office in Shepherd’s Bush, London and its automated factory in Lincolnshire, from which it delivers about 5 million meals a month.
From the start, Timo was passionate about using data to learn what customers like and tailor the firm’s recipes to their tastes. He says the firm’s technology also helps it to minimise waste by accurately forecasting what customers will order. By sharing this data with its suppliers, Gousto can help reduce waste and improve efficiency throughout its supply chain.
Gousto now offers more than 55 weekly recipes and delivers seven days a week, including evenings. Prices start from £2.98 per serving.
A unicorn is born
After several years of investing heavily in rapid growth, Gousto reported its first yearly profit in 2020. The company says the COVID-19 lockdown “accelerated structural trends which were already firmly underway”, giving it a boost in customers.
Buoyed by its strong growth, Gousto achieved ‘unicorn’ status in 2020 when it completed a funding round at a valuation of more than $1 billion.
Across eight funding rounds, we’ve invested a total of £30 million into Gousto. Alongside our support and guidance, this investment has enabled Gousto to:
- Hire more technology staff to build up the firm’s technical capacity
- Accelerate the opening of new fulfilment centres to service growing demand and prepare for future growth