Anyone who ordered a takeaway during the UK’s coronavirus lockdowns may well have used Foodhub, which recently overtook its rival Uber Eats to rank as the country’s third biggest online food-ordering portal. The business now has 22,000 takeaways on its books (compared with 18,000 restaurants for Uber Eats), having grown 160% in 2020, thanks to a surge in demand during the pandemic.
The company, which is based in Stoke-on-Trent but also has staff in India, Australia and the US, has increased its turnover from £3m to around £30m in the past three years. “Our online orders have gone up 30% to 40% every single month; it just doesn’t seem to stop,” says Mohamed Chaudry, the firm’s chief financial officer. Foodhub has now secured significant funding from BOOST&Co to support the business as it enters negotiations with private equity firms to raise £100m.
Growth capital supports inroads into Europe and US
Foodhub made a breakthrough in 2017, when it launched an online portal that enabled the company to sign up restaurants across the UK, rather than simply driving customers to individual takeaways near their homes. Having since performed strongly in a saturated market, the firm is now automating many of its processes to accelerate its expansion into Europe and the US. “The business model is global,” Chaudry says. “Trust me, if we had a population on the moon, we’d have an app and you could get deliveries there.”
While Foodhub continues to fundraise, it will use its growth loan to support international expansion, increase its marketing spend and recruit senior financial staff. Principal Faye McDonough, who led the deal from BOOST&Co’s Cambridge office, was delighted to help “an exciting business that is transforming its sector with a unique offer. Foodhub’s entrepreneurial team has a passion for supporting independent restaurants and is targeting world domination with a strategic plan to deliver growth,” she says.