Top 10 in Tech: London's most valuable Food & Drink startups

Josh Peachey's picture
by Josh Peachey

We're looking at the most valuable startups coming out of London. This week, we're eyeing up the food startups. 

Food is essential. The innovative entrepreneurs behind these startups certainly know that but more importantly, they've managed to find gaps in the market to bring food delivery into the modern age. 

Looking at the list, it appears that for both modern workers and successful catering companies, convenience is king.

We used Tech Nation's Data Commons to identify the most valuable modern companies working in the food sector, having recently ranked the Top 10 FinTechEdTech and Health and Wellbeing startups.

1. Deliveroo

In the age of convenience, Deliveroo has mastered the art of satisfying for those who either are too busy to cook or eat out, or simply can’t be bothered. The app-based delivery service enables customers to order restaurant-standard food from the comfort of their sofa or office desk. Earlier this year, Amazon led a £463 million Series G funding round into the food-delivery unicorn. The company manages the deliverers so restaurants and food outlets don’t have to. 

Founded: 2012
Value: At least £1.8 billion

2. Graze

Graze was one of the earliest food subscription services in the UK, delivering healthier snacks in a box via mail. Subscribers can create an account online and tailor their preferences for snacks. The convenient service has now grown into supplying supermarkets with in-store snack bags and the company was bought by Unilever at the start of 2019.

Founded: 2009
Value: £150 million

3. Tails

Humans aren’t the only ones who benefit from delivered food… man’s best friend needs to eat well too. The delivery of tailored dog food is what Tails specialises in. Dog owners are required to build up a profile of their dog online, which helps the service determine how much the dog should be eating to stay healthy. A mix of quality and personalisation has made Tails a success.

Founded: 2013
Value: £150 million

4. Gousto

Bridging the gap between takeaway and having to shop for cooking ingredients, Gousto makes cooking easy with recipes, selected online, and ingredients sent to users homes. A recipe box has everything you need to cook up to four meals each week and includes the precise ingredients, meaning that there’s no food waste. 

Founded: 2012
Value: At least £72 million

5. Butternut Box

Focused on provided pooches with high quality meals (60% meat, 40% vegetables, lentils and minerals), Butternut Box has also found their place in the dog food delivery sector. Dog owners enter details about their dog’s breed, weight, sex and exercise regime to find out their ideal meal package should be. The company raised £15 in a funding round earlier this year.

Founded: 2016
Value: At least £63 million

6. AllPlants

Meat eaters aren’t the only ones who need meals delivered. AllPlants is a food delivery service set up by brothers Alex and Jonathan Petrides who decided that we all need to be eating more plants. They provide a range of quick-frozen vegan meals and users of the service receive six meals at a time. The startup raised £7.5 million in Series A funding earlier this year, which they plan to invest in providing a broader range of ready-to-eat food. 

Founded: 2017
Value: At least £30 million

7. FarmDrop

After launching in 2012, FarmDrop enables food producers to sell directly to their local community. While other food subscription services promise nutritious organic ingredients, FoodDrop allows customers to get their ingredients as fresh as they can, from farm to doorstep in 24 hours, whilst supporting local farmers. It’s not nationwide yet but plans to scale up. 

Founded: 2012
Value: At least £28 million

8. Karakuri

Karakuri is a manufacturer of some seriously clever kitchen tech. They create fully-customizable food preparation systems, combining robotics, automation, and machine learning. Their robotic solutions are suited to fast turnaround, 100% individualized and portion-controlled mass production, such as restaurants, cafeterias, and central kitchens.

Founded: 2018
Value: At least £29 million

9. EatFirst

This startup delivers healthy, freshly cooked meals for sharing, ideal for business lunches. Head Chef Benn Hodges spent years working in Michelin starred restaurants. The food is made in small batches and delivered in reusable wooden trays. Same day delivery guaranteed for London. 

Founded: 2014
Value: At least £25 million

10. Mindful Chef

Another recipe box subscription service but this one is ideal for those looking to lose some weight. With 16 new low-carb recipes, for one, two or four people, to choose from each week, all of the options are nutritionist-approved and start at just £4 a meal. Known for their nutrition and health-focus, Mindful Chef is the Official Supplier to the English Institute of Sport.

Founded: 2014
Value: At least £24m