London-based Slerp has raised $10 million in two rapid-fire seed and Series A rounds led by Eight Roads Ventures and Jigsaw VC. The rounds also saw participation from TrueSight Ventures, and Aldea Ventures, as well as Angel Investor Rumi Verjee. The firm is reporting that the funding will be used to continue its rapid growth and expand the team size across the board, culminating in further expansion into continental Europe.
“Slerp has enabled hospitality businesses who have been hard hit during the pandemic to launch an online offering quickly and to continue serving customers through successive lockdowns,” comments Eight Roads Ventures’ Davor Hebel. “As the economy re-opens, these businesses have an established new business line which will strengthen them for the long-term and allow them to reach a much broader customer base.”
It’s no secret that lockdown after lockdown has revolutionised the restaurant industry. But the winners thus far have been the shops that were already in the business of takeaway and delivery. But what about the top-shelf dining experiences, who’s primary draw was the total dining experience? I.e. the physical location itself?
This is where Slerp steps in the help Michelin starred players, for example, get on board. Slerp and KAM Media based research found that 22% (11.5 million) of all UK adults had ordered a ‘cook at home’ meal box during one lockdown or another and that 40% intended to purchase one in the future. Furthermore, 62% said that they want the favourite restaurant brands to start offering the service on a regular basis.
Founded in 2017 by JP Then, The Slerp e-commerce solution enables direct transactions to the customer, while still having full control over their brand image, customer data, and all settings. Slerp takes a 7.5% commission fee, which is still 2.5% more than The Netherlands-based Bistroo which we profiled last week, and no mention of any democratisation of the process, which Bistroo is also promising.
Slerp isn’t the only player in the premium restaurant-at-home experience, as Andrew Grahame’s Cook and Thief has been operating in the space a full two years prior and places a strong focus on the individual chef, as opposed to a name brand.
“Slerp provides a very different service to marketplaces in this sector. We are powering the next evolution of online ordering by becoming a digital business partner to brands, enabling them to have a direct relationship with their customers and significantly more control of their online channel. Because our roots are as food brand owners and establishment operators, we have purposefully listened to our peers to create a platform solution that provides significantly more control compared to marketplaces, and contributes to both the top and bottom line for businesses. It’s a very exciting time for the sector as it trends towards being more omnichannel and digitally enabled,” comments founder, JP Then.