DFJ Esprit

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Healthy Appetite? graze.com thrills consumers and investors alike

1 Jul 2009

Just six months after its official launch in January 2009, graze.com, the UK’s first company to deliver healthy food by post, is now delivering over 80,000 boxes per month.

In order to maintain this impressive level of growth, the company has just secured a £2M investment from the backers of LOVEFiLM.com, Octopus Ventures and DFJ Esprit.

The service already has over 15,000 subscribers who pay £2.99 per box. People can select their favourite foods from a range of 150 different items ranging from fresh pineapple to wasabi peanuts and dried berries.

The majority of this fantastic growth has been through word of mouth and recommendation: graze.com fans so enjoy the variety of foods that they get sent that many of them post blog entries and tweet about the contents of their boxes.

The company will use the investment money to enable further growth and invest in new product lines.

The funding round was led by Octopus Ventures, a specialist investor in early-stage and expanding companies, and supported by DFJ Esprit, member of the world’s largest network of venture capital funds, and existing investors including Arts Alliance and Robin Klein. Another of the existing investors, William Reeve, co-founder of LOVEFiLM, has been appointed non-executive Chairman of Graze.

Graham Bosher, co-founder, graze,com, said: “We’re delighted by the consumer response to graze so far. There are so many more things we can offer our subscribers in terms of product innovation and that’s what we will be using this investment to do. We want to drive a food revolution in the UK and prove that healthy foods can make you smile. It’s going to be a strong partnership with investors we know will deliver great experience and wisdom.”

William Reeve, Chairman, graze.com, said: “The combination of Octopus’ Private Investor Group and DFJ Esprit’s global network offers a pool of relevant experience that is already proving invaluable to the team. Their successful LOVEFiLM.com investment gives them a good insight into the key features behind graze.com’s exciting growth.”

Commenting on today’s announcement, Alex Macpherson, Chief Executive of Octopus Ventures, said: “We are delighted to be backing Graze’s dynamic team of proven, experienced entrepreneurs. From the outset we have been impressed by the management team’s vision, enthusiasm, and professionalism.

Graze’s commitment to making healthy eating as easy as possible, combined with the quality of its produce, is proving extremely popular with consumers. We believe the Company is a highly compelling investment opportunity for our investors and are really looking forward to working with the Graze team as it embarks on its next phase of growth.”

Alliott Cole, led the investment on behalf of Octopus and was supported by Luke Hakes. John Finnemore (Associate) of Shoosmiths was legal adviser to Octopus. Gordons were the Company’s legal representatives. Nic Brisbourne led the deal on behalf of DFJ Esprit.

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about graze (www.graze.com)

graze.com was started by 7 friends who all share a passion for food. When we found we couldn’t eat the food we loved at work, we asked around and realised there were loads of people just like us. So in April 2007 we decided to stop playing off-peak foodies and go full time. We took the plunge, gave up our jobs and built the graze kitchen.

We now spend all our time sourcing the foods we love and finding even better ways to get them to you. In our first month we sent out over 8,000 boxes and six months later we are already feeding 20,000 people every week

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