Peckwater Brands, one of the fastest growing virtual brands companies in the UK, today announces that it has secured £3m in seed funding. The round, led by Fuel Ventures, tees the business up for its next stage of growth after a boom in sales during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Peckwater has grown 20% month-on-month over the past year. In the coming year it is set to hire for additional roles across their sales, operations, and brand development functions as it continues to disrupt the food-for-now and food delivery space. It will also be expanding its operations into the US and plans to set up a base in Australia and New Zealand as it grows at pace.
The firm builds data-driven, delivery-only food brands for restaurants up and down the country. The orders are cooked and delivered from existing kitchens alongside their day-to-day operations. The team has previously worked for companies including UberEats, Amazon, Karma Kitchen (a dark kitchen operator), Deliveroo, and Yo Sushi!.
Peckwater currently has a mix of owned and licensed brands spanning several categories including chicken (Seoul Chikin, Flip the Bird, Wham Bam Wings, Katsu), burgers (Dukes, Proper Tasty) and a shared brand with Unilever (a vegan offer called Ding Dog which uses Unilever’s ‘Vegetarian Butcher’ product range). Other brands are Chicken Sees A Salad and Say Queso. All are available to restaurants in the UK and the US, and are sold on delivery platforms including Deliveroo, UberEats and Just Eat.
Fuel Ventures has invested in Peckwater Brands alongside Pembroke VCT in return for a minority stake.
Leo Bradshaw, co-founder and CEO, said, “The hospitality industry is ripe for disruption — Peckwater Brands combines great food with technology to revolutionise our partners’ food delivery offer.
“Our brands get us through the door, but what we gain is exclusive access to a small business owner — our technology then sits at the heart of their business, and from there we can service all their future needs, from waste management to working capital.
“The revenue that we deliver for our partners is transformational for their businesses. Our partners are earning enough to open new sites and expand their operations.”
Sam Martin, co-founder and COO, said, “Our aim is to be bigger than Domino’s, but if we’ve done our jobs right you’ll never have heard of us.
“We don’t believe that dark kitchens are the future of the food industry. The virtual brand model is superior in all the ways that matter: lower investment for partners, better for local high-streets and communities, and easier to scale.
“Dark kitchens give food delivery a bad name — we’re hoping that through our virtual brands we can restore consumers’ confidence in food delivery.
“When you’re running a virtual brand you have to put twice as much effort into creating a high-quality, respectable product — the real test is whether consumers trust our brands and re-order from them. You can’t make this model work if you’re endlessly re-branding to hide a bad product.”
Mark Pearson, managing partner at Fuel Ventures, said, “We’ve seen huge growth in the food delivery market, and are excited by Peckwater’s approach which brings technology and scalability to the space. We’re pleased to be backing a strong management team that shares our level of ambition.”