Pasta Evangelists raises GBP1.7m in funding round led by Guinness Asset Management
Guinness Asset Management has led a GBP1.7m investment for a minority stake in Pasta Evangelists, which is disrupting the UK’s GBP3.8 billion pasta sector, delivering fresh, authentically Italian artisan pasta direct to consumers' homes across the UK.
Founded in October 2016 by Genoa native Alessandro Savelli and co-founders James McArthur and Chris Rennoldson, Pasta Evangelists is on a mission to become the authority in fresh pasta in the UK. The company believes premium pasta and authentic Italian pasta sauces are two categories that have seen the least innovation in the food industry in the past decade.
The GBP1.7 million equity investment will support the growth ambitions of Pasta Evangelists, which has increased its revenues ten-fold over the past 12 months, and more than 90x since launch in October 2016. Alongside Guinness AM, a number of individual investors have participated in the round, including Martin Mignot, partner of Index Ventures and Nicholas Hassall, former Global Head of UBS’ Consumer & Retail Sector investment banking team. Existing shareholders and "evangelists" include food authorities Giles Coren, Prue Leith and MasterChef judge William Sitwell.
Malcolm King, of Guinness Asset Management, says: “We have been impressed by the obvious passion of the Pasta Evangelists team and the company’s accomplishment to date. The company's 9.1 out of 10 Trustpilot rating and 10x growth in revenue over the last 12 months evidences not only the quality of the food but also the appeal of the through-the-letterbox consumer model. We are looking forward to working with the Pasta Evangelists team to help them realise the next phase of their growth ambitions.”
The Pasta Evangelists business model, at the convergence of, direct-co-consumer, e-commerce, letterbox delivery and freshness, craftsmanship and provenance, creates a unique proposition that has not seen direct competitors to date. Pasta Evangelists' strategy includes nationwide shipping of its fresh pasta boxes using next day delivery logistics, innovative insulation technology and reusable ice-packs. Pasta Evangelists has served more than 50,000 portions of pasta over the past two years. The first sale occurred in October 2016 when Alessandro sold the first 40 portions of gnocchi Italian friends across London, after missing the fresh, artisan pasta made by his grandmother and available in his native Italy.
The startup has created more than 200 pasta recipes since launch, with best-sellers including Pappardelle with Wild Boar Ragù, Orecchiette with Pistachio Pesto and Lobster Tortelloni with Crustacean Bisque. Customers receive all they need to prepare a 5-star restaurant-quality pasta dish in 5 minutes, including fresh, handmade pasta, artisan sauces and garnishes such as 24-month aged Parmesan, and hazelnuts from Piemonte.
With more than two-thirds of Pasta Evangelists customers located outside of London, it is apparent the company has appeal well beyond the capital.
Alessandro Savelli, founder of Pasta Evangelists, says: "We are disrupting one of the largest segments in the food space - pasta is a GBP50 billion global category. It is a great vote of confidence in Pasta Evangelists to have Guinness AM partner with us."