Investing in the Oddbox mission
Big news here at Oddbox, as we’ve just closed a new funding round. But why did we need more investment in the first place? How have we made sure the investors fit with our values? And does this mean a change in direction? (Short answer: never.)
Like all relatively new purpose-led companies, we’ve got big ambitions. The more members we have, the more fruit and veg we can rescue, and the more we rescue the more of an impact we can make in the fight against food waste and climate change.
It sounds simple, but growth is actually one of the hardest things to get right. We started off packing boxes of odd fruit and veg in a church hall, and as we’ve expanded – particularly over the last 18 months – we’ve been acutely aware of holding onto what makes Oddbox special.
For that reason, it’s always been important to us that we keep a majority stake and maintain control of Oddbox as we shape and scale the company. This means we only raise investment under three non-negotiable conditions:
- It will allow us to further our mission
- We retain the majority of ownership
- Investors believe in our founding principle that business should be a force for good.
The first point on the list is a big one. Thanks largely to our wonderful community spreading the word at a time when more of us were turning to online grocery shopping, our growth in 2020 made it clear that there are many more opportunities to fight food waste out there.
We know we can reach more people and improve the Oddbox experience for our members. And now is the time to go for it.
Meet our new investors
Our new investor is BPI (or Burda Principal Investments). They tick all the boxes. And, like us, they do things slightly differently – rather than being interested in short-term financial goals, they’re committed to long-term sustainability.
They recently conducted their first Impact and ESG review and have been recognised for their diversity and inclusion efforts too. They have a strong foothold in food publishing in the UK as well as in Germany, and hold investments in Bloom & Wild, notonthehighstreet and Vinted among others.
Most-importantly, the BPI Investment Principal and new Board Director is already an Oddbox-er, so she knows first-hand what we’re all about – overnight deliveries, football-sized broccolis, dodgy fruit-based puns and all.
Fighting food waste with every penny
In 2020 we raised Series A funding, which allowed us to expand outside of London for the first time. With this round, we want to use our investment to make it even easier for our community to help in the fight against food waste. Our plans include:
- Giving you more options to fight waste that suit your lifestyle. There’s no point rescuing food from the farm if it’s wasted in the kitchen, so we’re going to be looking into ways to make Oddbox work better for you.
- Improving your Oddbox digital experience. We know our website is wobbly, so we’ll be making changes that help you enjoy your boxes to the fullest while understanding the impact you’re having.
- Welcoming more supporters. We’ll be expanding to new areas and postcodes which will allow us to rescue more fruit and veg together.
- Giving the Oddbox team opportunities to share our success. We’ll be increasing the share options pool for our team so they can become shareholders too.
If you’d like to know a bit more about our new investors, there’s a fact sheet below. And if you have any other thoughts or questions about the investment and our plans for the future, we’re just an email away at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always, thank you so much for rescuing with us. We hope you’re as excited as we are about this next chapter and what we can achieve together.
Yours in fruit & veg,
Emilie and Deepak
- BPI (Burda Principal Investments) is a long-term investor: they want to support sustainable businesses and join the journeys of companies that are having a positive impact on the world.
- They recently conducted their first Impact and ESG review and have been recognised for their diversity and inclusion efforts.
- They have a strong foothold in food publishing in the UK as well as in Germany. They are also focused on Consumer Digital Companies and hold investments in Vinted, Bloom & Wild, notonthehighstreet and others.
- The BPI Investment Principal and new Board Director is an Oddbox member.
- BPI invested a total of £16m, part of which will go towards delivering the improvements mentioned above, and part of which will offer a partial exit to the angel and crowdfunding investors.
- Before this, we completed an angel and crowdfunding round in 2018 and a Series A in 2020, which allowed us to expand outside of London for the first time.