Peckwater builds delivery-only food brands, helping restaurants and kitchens streamline operations using its software platform

Virtual restaurant brand operator Peckwater Brands has expanded its reach with the acquisition of the Honest Food Company (HFC) from German delivery service Delivery Hero.

Peckwater, which already has operations in five countries – the UK, the US, France, Belgium, and the UAE – will expand its international footprint by adding HFC’s operations in Finland, Sweden, Hungary and Czech Republic.

The deal makes it the largest operator of virtual food brands – brands only found on third-party delivery platforms such as Deliveroo and Just Eat – operating from more than 500 unique locations.

The move follows a £15m series A funding round for the group, backed by pub operator Stonegate Group, SBI Investments, Fuel Ventures, and Pembroke VCT. It brought the company’s post-money valuation to £65m, helping it accelerate expansion into new markets.

CEO Sam Martin said: “The growth and development we’ve seen at Peckwater in recent months is astonishing – the dedication of our team and their faultless execution of our strategy has been integral to our success.”

Executive chairman Leo Bradshaw added: “Under Delivery Hero’s ownership, HFC has established a leading position in the European market and combining this with the UK’s largest estate will create Europe’s largest virtual brand operation.

“We announced our intention to accelerate international expansion with our series A funding, and this represents a massive step forward for Peckwater Brands. Having opened our French and Belgian operations organically in the three months since our funding round, we’re delighted to be adding operations in four more mature markets.”

Founded in 2019, Peckwater builds delivery-only food brands, helping restaurants and kitchens streamline operations using its software platform.

The group has three products: an operating platform to give restaurants data and insights to increase sales; virtual brands; and high street dark kitchens to allow operators to take on multiple food categories from one location.

In the UK, it claims to run the largest estate of virtual brands, operating almost 200 contracted sites.

The business operates a mix of licensed brands spanning several categories including chicken (Seoul Chikin, Flip the Bird, Katsu), burgers (Dukes, Proper Tasty) and has also run shared brands with partners such as Unilever, Buzzfeed and Heinz.

Delivery Hero acquired Honest Food Company in 2020, with the business continuing to trade in Austria after the conclusion of the deal.