News, Insights and Stories from the Australian and New Zealand tech ecosystem.

Home cooking delivery startup Marley Spoon raises AUD$22 million Series B to expand around Australia

German home cooking delivery startup Marley Spoon, which launched in Australia last August, has announced the raising of a €15 million (AUD$22 million) Series B round from Luxor Capital, QD Ventures, Kreos Capital, and existing investors. The startup has also secured up to €40 million (AUD$59 million) in media services from media-for-equity fund GMPVC.

Launched in Germany in 2014, the service is now active in Australia, the UK, the Netherlands, the US, and Austria. The fresh funding, which comes after a $3.5 million Series A last April, will go towards expansion across the east coast of Australia and the west coast of the US.

Dave Malcolm, cofounder and director of Marley Spoon Australia, said the startup is extremely happy with its local growth thus far, with the startup growing 20 percent month-on-month. Having expanded into Melbourne late last year, Malcolm said the focus over the next few months will be launching in Brisbane.

“I think it’s important to realise the thing about expansion is it’s not really about adding another territory or adding another city, what’s really important is trying to nail the consumer experience and grow effectively in the markets that you’re in. One of the challenges we face that’s unique to running a business in Australia is the matter of proximity,” he said.

“For us to operate in Melbourne we have the logistical challenge of shipping food down there, and making sure that it arrives in amazing condition. It’s more about getting the details right, so for us moving forward it’s not just about empire building, it’s about how we deal with growth in a manageable way and still deliver the same consumer experience, the same box experience, and the same amazing food while dealing with the problems of scaling up.”

The customer experience is what Marley Spoon has been zeroing in on, said Malcolm. As the food space becomes increasingly crowded, with HelloFresh and Thomas Farm Kitchens being MarleySpoon’s main competitors in the meal box delivery market and the likes of Deliveroo, Foodora, and Menulog battling it out in the restaurant delivery market, Malcolm said marketing has actually been fairly low on the priority list for Marley Spoon.

“What we’re about is growing our customer base and retaining it, and that’s why we didn’t go out with a big bang; we protect our cohort. The reason we’re seeing such great growth in Australia is the fact that our customers are staying with us, we don’t churn a massive amount of customers and therefore our cost per acquisition is lower, because we’re onboarding a better customer and delivering a better experience,” said Malcolm.

“We drive growth through efficiency rather than spending loads of money.”

Of course, as the startup knuckles down on its service and the logistics of providing the same customer experience in new markets around the country, Malcolm said Marley Spoon will be freed up to experiment with marketing as its moves along.

The startup will also be launching an app in a few months, which will give customers the ability to maintain their account, edit their weekly order, and gain access to a library of recipes.

Olga Zhilinskaya of QD Ventures said, “Marley Spoon has a fantastic product and we see huge potential for rapid growth in the coming months as customer demand increases. The numbers to date give us confidence that Marley Spoon will scale efficiently and we are excited to see the planned changes to the service that will take it to the next level.”

Image: Dave Malcolm. Source: Supplied.





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