Online meal planning and shopping platform Lollipop – which allows users to create weekly meal plans from thousands of recipes, and automatically generate shopping lists at major supermarkets – has raised £5m in a new seed round.
Lollipop – founded by former COO of Monzo Bank Tom Foster-Carter – allows meal plans to be created based on dietary requirements and other user preferences, with ingredients ordered directly from Sainsbury’s online. Users are given the ability to select Sainsbury’s delivery slots via the app’s interface. The orders – which users generate by picking recipes sourced from BBC Good Food and Lollipop’s own – can be topped up with users’ manually selected items, such as household essentials.
The latest fundraise, led by Octopus Ventures, follows a pre-seed round carried out in December 2020. The round includes investment from Maki VC, Anterra Capital and Plug and Play, while former investors JamJar and Speedinvest both topped up their backing.
The platform launched in ‘beta’ form earlier this year to users that signed up to a waiting list for the service. A full launch is imminent, it is understood.
“We’re seeing more and more ways to shop for groceries, from meal kits to one-hour delivery offerings, yet 80% of households spend over an hour a week meal planning and online grocery shopping,” said Matt Chandler, investor at Octopus Ventures.
“There’s a huge gap for a mass-market idea that makes it easier for households to choose and shop for delicious meals without limiting their choice. Lollipop fills that demand and, importantly as the cost of living rises, does so without charging consumers a premium. We believe it can become a one-stop grocery shopping experience,” he added.
Lollipop recently moved its growing team to ‘Lollipop Lodge’, a riverside warehouse space in London Bridge, where product teams work on the platform alongside recipe developers’ creating meals in the site’s kitchen. The startup – whose team includes former Sainsbury’s, Farmdrop, Hello Fresh and Amazon employees – is planning to double its headcount by the end of the year.
The platform is integrated with Sainsbury’s, but Lollipop says it is likely to include further partners in the future.
“We are pleased to partner with Lollipop in this new venture,” said Matthew Roberts, head of digital strategy at Sainsbury’s.
“They share our commitment to help everyone have access to great value, healthy food and we are fully behind everything they are doing to support families across the UK. Lollipop uses technology in an innovative way and we look forward to working together to bring great value, innovative food to more customers,” Roberts added.