As part of the investment, co-founder Sam Martin will now become the brand's CEO, with co-founder Leo Bradshaw, taking up the position of executive chair
The virtual brand company, Peckwater Brands, has secured £15m in its series A seed funding round. This latest funding round, which follows a £3m seed round in October 2021, brings the business’ post-money valuation to £65m.
Founded in 2019, Peckwater Brands builds delivery-only food brands, driven by data-led customer insight, for restaurants up and down the country. The orders are cooked and delivered from existing kitchens alongside their day-to-day operations. The business operates a mix of licensed brands spanning several categories including chicken (Seoul Chikin, Flip the Bird, Wham Bam Wings, Katsu), burgers (Dukes, Proper Tasty) and has also run shared brands with partners such as Unilever, Buzzfeed, and Heinz.
Peckwater’s latest funding round was supported by Stonegate Group. Stonegate has taken a minority stake in Peckwater, for an undisclosed sum, having trialled Peckwater Brands in some of its pubs.
Suzanne Baker, commercial director of Stonegate Group, said: “Peckwater Brands’ partnership with some of our pubs has demonstrated the company’s exciting potential. As such, we were delighted to collaborate with them, participate in their latest funding round and offer support to this promising team. We look forward to working closely with Peckwater Brands in the coming years to ensure the company’s continued success.”
Investors in this latest round also include SoftBank Investments (SBI), as well as follow-on investment from Peckwater’s previous backers, Fuel Ventures and Pembroke VCT.
“Following Peckwater Brands’ growth since its previous funding round, we were delighted to have the opportunity to invest in such an exciting business. The Peckwater Brands team have made outstanding progress over the past 12 months, and we look forward to contributing to the future successes of the business,” said Yoshitaka Kitao, representative director and CEO of SBI Investment Co., Ltd. (Tokyo).
Peckwater Brands’ series A funding will be used to develop its technology that enables kitchen operators to succeed at delivery – including machine learning-generated menus and operations performance improvements. It also plans to use its investment to accelerate its expansion, with its UK team planning to take the company from operating in 150-plus sites to being the largest kitchen network in the UK.
As part of the investment, co-founder Sam Martin will now become Peckwater Brands’ CEO, with co-founder Leo Bradshaw, taking up the position of executive chair.
Leo said: “The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for disruption within the hospitality sector. And Peckwater Brands has done just that. Our innovative use of technology, combined with our expert knowledge of brand management and hospitality has transformed the way restaurants, bars – essentially any venue with a kitchen – approach branding and customer reach.
“Our success speaks for itself. From enabling our partners to greatly improve their operations and monthly turnover, to transforming the way the hospitality sector considers franchises, we have demonstrated the true potential of virtual brands. This latest investment will enable us to build upon our existing efforts and accelerate our expansion.”
Sam added: “We have always been incredibly ambitious with where we can take Peckwater Brands. And, given the rapid success we’ve seen in the UK, we’ve now set out sights on the international stage. Not only have we established a strong presence within the US and UAE, but we are set to make waves across Europe in the very near future – and our latest funding round success will certainly accelerate these plans.”