Gousto becomes UK’s latest tech Unicorn
Gousto, a UK recipe box provider, has become only the fourth UK company in 2020 to achieve ‘Tech Unicorn’ status, following hot on the heels of Synk and fellow consumer-facing businesses Gymshark and Cazoo. Just eight years since launch, Gousto joins an elite group of 19 venture-backed UK businesses, including the likes of Deliveroo, that have achieved a valuation of at least USD1 billion.
In its latest funding round, which closed on 30 Oct 2020, Gousto raised GBP25 million (USD 33m) of new equity from existing investors Perwyn and BGF at a valuation in excess of USD1 billion. The new equity funds will add additional growth capital to Gousto’s own positive cashflow.
The latest fund raising is in-line with Gousto’s stated strategy, of at least tripling capacity by 2022, with the opening of three new customer fulfilment centres and the creation of 1,000 new jobs over the period. The Company’s second fulfilment centre in Lincolnshire is scheduled to go live before the end of 2020 and the development of centres three and four are being brought forward to meet the strong ongoing customer demand.
Gousto is the global leader in automation technology within the sector and all of the fulfilment centres will utilise the Company’s proprietary algorithms which maximise speed of pick, daily volumes and pick accuracy, whilst minimising cost and food waste. This enables Gousto to offer a winning customer proposition; providing the most recipe choice with over twice as many recipes as its nearest competitor, for the best value, delivered directly to customers’ doors in the quickest time.
This is what has led to Gousto’s rapid success. Revenues for the three years ending 31 December increased sixfold between 2016 and 2019 and growth has remained strong with revenues for the first half of 2020 surpassing the GBP83m (USD108m) reported for the whole of 2019. Topline growth, combined with operational gearing has enabled Gousto to reach profitability faster than many leading tech peers. Gousto has been profitable since Q4 2019 and expects to generate a significant profit in 2020.
Having founded the business at the age of 26, Timo Boldt, Founder & CEO of Gousto, says: “Achieving tech unicorn status and joining the ranks of those elite companies that have attained a billion dollar valuation is a proud moment for the entire Gousto team and all of our shareholders but we are still only just getting started. The market opportunity ahead of us is vast, as changes in consumer behaviour drive permanent change through the entire grocery market.
Our obsession with technology enabled us to scale our operations at speed in the first half of the year to meet an unprecedented and rapid increase in demand, with monthly meal deliveries doubling from 2.5m in January to 5m in June. The latest GBP25m fund raise will enable Gousto to scale further and faster, triple capacity to serve more families during these difficult times, ensure the safety of our teams and create jobs across the entire business. Gousto’s success is rooted in its absolute focus on delivering for its growing number of new and loyal customers the widest choice, the best value at the greatest convenience.”
Andrew Wynn, Founder and Managing Partner at Perwyn, says: “We continue to be excited about the sheer size of the market opportunity and impressed by the management team’s ability to deliver on its plans and navigate the complex challenges of 2020. Gousto’s superior technology and scale underpin its winning customer proposition and support its continued leadership of this fast growing and profitable sector.”