SoftBank has led a $230m (£172m) secondary placing investment into London-based recipe box startup Gousto.
The investment, which comes via SoftBank’s Vision Fund II, follows a previous $100m (£73.8m) backing by the Japanese conglomerate in January, which valued the company at £1.25bn.
Gousto has not raised additional money with SoftBank’s placing. Instead, SoftBank and investors Fidelity International, Grosvenor Food & AgTech and Railpen have “partially replaced” some of Gousto’s early-stage backers as “larger institutional investors.”
A Gousto spokesperson told UKTN that the new investors are “better suited to support the next stage of Gousto’s growth – the deal represents a maturing of Gousto’s shareholder base and is a milestone transaction”.
“This successful placing follows the primary capital raise announced in January and 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,” said Timo Boldt, co-founder and CEO of Gousto.
Boldt and James Carter founded Gousto in 2012 to provide a meal subscription service, which comes with premeasured ingredients and simple recipes.
Gousto uses artificial intelligence (AI) to automate parts of its fulfilment centres in Lincolnshire and Warrington. It also uses AI algorithms to recommend new recipes to its customers.
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.”
Gousto is also aiming to reduce food waste, with a recent study by environmental services company Foodsteps revealing that Gousto meals produced 23% fewer carbon emissions than the equivalent meals from supermarket stores.