The trendiest, most popular restaurants shouldn’t be the privilege of city centres or certain hot spots – and the neighborhoods in the city outskirts should have other high-quality options than the average multinational restaurant chains. That’s the idea driving Helsinki-based Huuva.
Aiming to make great food available everywhere, the Finninsh startup has raised €4.9 million in funding. The round was led by US-based VC firm General Catalyst and supported by Lifeline Ventures and angel investors, including Laurel Bowden and Ilkka Paananen.
With the new cash, Huuva plans to ramp up expansion in Central Europe, recruit over 100 new team members with a heavy focus on business and operations talent and better serve the market with its unique neighbourhoods-first focus.
Aiming to bring new quality restaurant options to yet unserved neighborhoods, the platform is building delivery-focused restaurant cohorts around cities and suburbs. Founded in 2021 by Ville Leppälä and Ville Lehto, the company has opened six kitchens around the greater Helsinki area.
Ville Leppälä, co-founder and CEO of Huuva said: “Restaurant offerings outside city centres are close to non-existent. We’re on a mission to revolutionise the restaurant offering in underserved neighbourhoods.”
Each of Huuva’s kitchens gathers 3-6 well-known restaurant brands under one roof, enabling consumers to order their favourite dishes from multiple brands in one delivery. Contrary to other delivery-only kitchens in the market, Huuva’s neighborhoods-first approach places its restaurant cohorts around city perimeters, bringing much-awaited new restaurant options for people outside of the busy city centres. The food tech offers end-to-end services, such as their proprietary technology, for restaurants joining its kitchen cohorts, making it possible for them to expand in days instead of months. Huuva is currently planning on opening its first kitchen location in Central Europe.
Before setting up a new Huuva kitchen, the team analyses local trends and current restaurant selection to bring the most fitting restaurants for the specific neighboorhood. “Our vision is to enable local entrepreneur-driven restaurant brands to scale their business without the limitation of country or city borders – or time – through Huuva’s locations around Europe,” Leppälä added.
Adam Valkin, managing director at General Catalyst added: “Their unique approach in Europe has significantly improved the food selection for the end customer in a number of neighborhoods while making food delivery more profitable for restaurants. At the same time, couriers get to pick up from delivery optimised locations minimising delivery times.”