Pembroke VCT, the venture capital trust focused on backing early-stage businesses with exceptional founders and management teams, has invested £1m into Peckwater Brands, the creator of data-driven virtual food brands, which develops delivery-only, fully-serviced food concepts to increase revenue for existing restaurants, its franchisees.
Launched by co-founders Leo Bradshaw and Sam Martin in June 2020, Peckwater’s solution allows independent restaurants to optimise their existing kitchen infrastructure, cooking orders for Peckwater Brands alongside their day-to-day operations. Peckwater benefits all parties; it enables restaurants to increase revenue and earnings, provides the consumer with more choice and drives more transactions through delivery platforms.
Peckwater takes a data-driven approach to the creation of its virtual brands, which allows it to analyse food trends and respond quickly, taking a brand from concept to trading in less than a month. Its best performing franchisees are outside of large cities, where consumers are frequently faced with limited choice and a lack of innovation. Peckwater’s virtual brands outperform restaurant own-brands by up to 823%.
Its current brands span several categories including chicken (Seoul Chikin, Flip the Bird, Wham Bam Wings, Katsu), burgers (Dukes, Proper Tasty) and a vegan option using Unilever’s ‘Vegetarian Butcher’ range. All are available to restaurants in the UK and the US, and are sold on delivery platforms including Deliveroo, UberEats and Just Eat.
Peckwater already has 50 partners in the UK, has grown 20% month-on-month over the past year and is on track to hit £5m in sales in 2021. The investment from Pembroke will fund expansion across the sales, operations and brand development functions. The business also has plans to expand operations into the US, Australia and New Zealand.
Andrew Wolfson, CEO of Pembroke Investment Managers commented: “We feel lucky to have had the opportunity to back Leo and Sam. Their highly complementary skillset combines both data and operations experience. These skillsets have enabled them to develop a business that provides a service for restaurant owners to benefit from the shift in consumer behaviour to dining at home more frequently. We believe that the service is a ‘win-win-win’ where restaurant partners increase earnings, consumers benefit from increased choice and delivery platforms benefit from increased order volumes. We are delighted to have made this initial investment and look forward to working with Leo, Sam and the wider team.’’
Leo Bradshaw, co-founder and CEO of Peckwater Brands said: “The hospitality industry is ripe for disruption – Peckwater Brands combines great food with technology to revolutionise our partners’ food delivery offer. The revenue that we deliver for our partners is transformational for their businesses – they are earning enough to open new sites and expand their operations.”
Sam Martin, co-founder and COO of Peckwater Brands added: “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.”