19. Gousto

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Founders: Timo Schmidt and James Carter
Founded: April 2012
Website: www.gousto.co.uk

Recipe box delivery start-up Gousto has been no stranger to publicity this year – to put it mildly. The founding pair achieved nationwide coverage after the start-up was rebuffed by investors on BBC Two’s Dragons’ Den, only to promptly raise £500,000 from a group of food industry veterans, leading to many touting Gousto as “the one that got away” from the Dragons. Its proposition is a simple yet seductive one; customers order from a list of recipes changed weekly and the ingredients are delivered to their door in exact quantities, allowing people to create restaurant-quality meals whilst eliminating unnecessary wastage.

The shift from offline to online food buying is estimated at 20% each year, and Gousto, with 10,000 customers and growing, is fighting for pole position in this increasingly congested field; our number three entry Hello Fresh is one of their main competitors. Having broken even, Timo Schmidt and James Carter have ambitious plans for Gousto over the next 12 months. In the process of opening a second warehouse and developing its technology platform, the company expects to grow by a “few hundred percent,” a goal that seems more than achievable with their recent additional funding round of $300,000.

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