Gousto

Year founded 2012
HQ Location London
Sector Food & Drink Technology
Staff count 250+
Capital raised £56m
Gousto has overcome numerous scale-up challenges thanks to its strong values, people-focused culture and unequivocal commitment to organic growth, confirming its prize as one of the UK’s most innovative food tech companies.
www.gousto.co.uk
It all comes down to our people and how they help the business to scale.

Timo Boldt

Founder & CEO

Following your heart

Founder Timo Boldt grew up on a farm in California. His parents questioned why he had never pursued his passion for balanced and nutritious food. With no real responsibilities such as kids or a mortgage, Boldt took the leap into entrepreneurship.

Leaving his lucrative job in the investment world, Boldt created Gousto, a recipe box company, delivering fresh, measured ingredients and recipes directly to homes. He decided Gousto was a winning idea as “there is a real need for more sustainably sourced food”.


A recipe for success

Boldt’s ambition coincided with a seismic shift in demand for widely available healthy food. Gousto tapped into this market perfectly, he says, and saw an opportunity to aim high and offer customers quality and convenience – something that had been missing from the UK grocery market.

“One billion meals are eaten in the UK each week – lunch and dinner combined,” explains Boldt. “If we conquer 1% of this market share, it could have a huge impact on food wastage.”

His grand vision has been essential in achieving numerous rounds of investment. “Shareholders have bought into my big-picture ambition,” Boldt explains. Gousto has successfully raised £28m to date.


Organisational gel

Gousto’s commitment to producing impact beyond just financial returns is supported by a strong set of company values, known as its three ownership principles: “Dream, Deliver, Care”.

These principles permeate all elements of the company culture, from job interviews to salary reviews. Boldt believes this has helped the company attract the best people who have helped Gousto “punch above our weight”.

It all comes down to our people and how they help the business to scale

Timo Boldt, Gousto

“Everything works around these three principles to ensure everything the Gousto staff do on a daily basis results in a strong team dynamic, allowing us to continue to aim bigger and better.”


Resilience is key

However, Boldt has made many sacrifices along Gousto’s scale-up journey. He didn’t take a salary, had to make tough decisions, and transformed the company’s leadership team. “All of this has been immensely painful and quite emotional,” he explains.

Boldt highlights the importance of “resilience” and “organisational robustness” to help handle these inevitable scale-up hurdles. He believes strong company values have provided the company with essential organisational direction and togetherness during tough times.


Organic growth wins

Gousto is currently a UK-focused company, and Boldt has been defiant on ensuring he pursues “growing organically”. This is fuelled by a desire to prioritise customer retention over “blind growth”.

Rather than focusing on exports, investment has instead been used to help with organisational “heavy lifting”, developing automation and AI features. Gousto has benefited from a “strong market position”.

With the key business operations now in place, Boldt believes international expansion might soon be on the horizon. But staying true to Gousto’s values, “we’re still growing 100% organically,” he concludes.

Lead Partner Support

BGF

BGF was set up in 2011 to offer growing companies and ambitious entrepreneurs patient capital and strategic support. Today, we are the UK and Ireland’s most active investor in SMEs.

Find out more

Key Metrics

6.3m

Meals delivered

(2017)

133%

Revenue Growth

(YoY-Q4 2017)

600,000kg

Food waste saved

(2017)

Sources of capital

Related Stories

GapCap
Offering a fresh and flexible approach to SME finance with invoice factoring, GapCap’s scale-up journey is fuelled by a combination of private debt supply, technology and data. Read more...
Koru Kids
London’s fastest growing childcare company Koru Kids counts the founder of Gumtree as a pre-seed investor and has scaled rapidly to provide over 15,000 hours of childcare every month. Read more...
Redington
Redington’s co-founders, Robert Gardner and Dawid Konotey-Ahulu have been deploying a fine blend of social, intellectual and financial capital to drive the consultant’s goal to help make 100m people financially secure. Read more...
Virtual1
After taking the “emotional step” to sell a minority stake in his business, founder Tom O’Hagan is confident he’s found the right type of patient capital plus associated support to realise his goal to become the top UK company to work for. Read more...
Renal Services
The UK’s first privately operated independent chain of kidney dialysis clinics Renal Services was one of BGF’s earliest investments and was chosen as one of the 1000 Companies to inspire Britain 2017. Read more...
Hiring Hub
After a “divorce-like” initial setback with early investors, Hiring Hub’s co-founder and CEO Simon Swan discovered that it’s possible for a scaling business to get back on track. Read more...