Gousto box (1)

Source: Gousto

Gousto made its first-ever profit in 2020 as surging demand during the pandemic more than doubled revenues

Gousto has received backing worth a further $230m (£172m) to help meet continued demand for meal kits and achieve its long-term sustainable ambitions.

It follows a $150m round a little over a month ago, which valued the business at $1.7bn.

Japanese conglomerate SoftBank, which invested $100m in the last round, increased its holding and led the secondary placement via its Vision Fund 2, which backs start-ups with plans to float on public markets.

Fidelity International, Grosvenor Food & AgTech and pension fund Railpen also took part and joined Gousto’s register of shareholders.

Founded in 2012 by Timo Boldt, Gousto has grown rapidly and attained ‘unicorn’ status in November 2020 when a funding round valued the group at $1bn.

Revenues more than doubled to £189m in 2020 thanks to elevated demand during the first phase of the pandemic, with Gousto also booking its first ever profit. Results for 2021, expected in April, are forecast to show further strong growth.

Boldt said the involvement of Fidelity, Grosvenor and Railpen - all leading ESG investors - was a testament to the important role Gousto was playing in reducing food waste and carbon emissions in the food supply chain.

He added the follow-on investment from SoftBank spoke volumes for where the business was heading.

“This successful placing is further testament to the relevance and appetite for Gousto’s leading recipe box solution as we meet an accelerating consumer need to eat healthily and sustainably, at value,” Boldt said.

“All four investors recognise the growth that Gousto has achieved and the opportunities ahead for the company as we embark on our next stage of growth and accelerate towards our goal to become the UK’s most loved way to eat dinner.”

Gousto, which attained B Corp status last year, flagged its aims to balance profit and purpose by having a positive impact on the planet and reduce food waste.

It claimed its meals saved 2kg food waste and 7kg of CO2 emissions compared with equivalent products in supermarkets, driven by a tighter supply chain and reductions in plastic usage.

Max Ohrstrand, investor for SoftBank Investment Advisers, said: “We have been closely watching the growth and performance of Gousto for the last few years and have been greatly impressed with what Timo and his team have achieved. We believe they have succeeded in disrupting the traditional grocery channel when it comes to how we consume the evening meal and are excited to be joining the Gousto journey.”

Katrin Burt, managing partner at Grosvenor Food & AgTech, added: “Gousto supports households in establishing the healthy habit of cooking from scratch by offering recipe kits that cater to a broad range of tastes and budgets. Enabling people to cook high quality, fresh food at home with minimal waste has far-reaching benefits for both human health and the environment and we are excited to partner with this fast-growing company.”

Goutso, which offers customers more than 60 recipes, has raised more than £350m in funding, with investors including Perwyn, BGF, MMC Ventures and health and fitness guru Joe Wicks.