On another rainy London day, we are on our way to visit a great tech startup that will make you feel hungry! We are here at the office of Feast-it . This platform lets people book top quality street food vendors and caterers for your events. You will hear the whole story from Hugo Campbell who is the Co-founder & CCO of the company.
The startup idea
Hugo says it all came from genuine love of food. As is the case with many great startup ideas, Feast-it has its roots in the frustration of the founders (Hugo and Digby) trying to find the best catering easily. They wanted to make sure the caterers are available and there is no hassle in the booking processes. One of the major goal was to build a user-friendly platform as you book a property or flights.
From wedding to company events, they not only provide the food but also event staff, photographers or florists within their platform. Every booking is assigned to a “dedicated event pro” that makes sure everything runs smoothly.
It hasn’t changed in any ways we didn’t totally anticipate.
It began with early 2017 with the intention of booking catering easy. First, they’ve started with the very best 100 street food traders across London who were able to book online. Since then, they increased the number to thousands of caterers within the platform.
Since they have a various options available for people to book on Feast-it, they rather describe the company as a “managed marketplace”. Today, they also added mobile bars into the system as well. This means a step forward to their main goal to expand their business into a 360 degree events booking platform.
Along the journey, the core value proposition has stayed pretty simple. ‘Giving people great services for their events that are easily bookable‘. Of course, there have been iterations along the way. Especially, there have been many changes and improvements in the system and how it works.
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The quality assurance
When you are selling people food, it has to be brilliant food.
When it comes to food, the major thing that should be ensured is “quality” if you want to stay in the game. Feast-it takes this issue seriously and built a supply team just to pick high-quality vendors. They have a number of criteria and also strict rules regarding the documentation. They’re asking a list of documents that would make it sure they are guaranteeing the quailty in their service.
As Hugo says, besides the quality of the food itself, the second important issue they really care about is aesthetics. How the food is set up, how it looks, how are they branding.. These are all good indications that they’re taking their business seriously. They make sure that they work with suppliers who have fantastic, high-quality products for their customers.
History of funding
They started with a very limited budget in the beginning that let them run their business for about 3 months. That was the time where they decided to raise their first angel round and received £25K of funding. With this significant contribution, they were able to create the MVP and get ready for further investment rounds. They managed to build the platform, to sign up more traders and to start thinking about the ways to achieve product-market fit.
Since then, they’ve done a couple more rounds of funding and accomplished to raise £1.7M until the end of 2018. This helped them to grow to the point where they are today.
It was not that easy to find investor at first but as you can hear in the interview, it takes dedication and effort to achieve your goals.
What is best & worst about being a London startup?
London is such a welcoming and adventageous city to have your business in many aspects. From the supportive startup ecosystem to easy access to quality resources, it’s where everything comes together.
“It would be hard to be anywhere else, it’s an amazing hub for tech companies at the moment.” Hugo says. The biggest benefit is the great network which is incredibly welcoming. You will have limitless options to get advice and support from hugely experienced people. Such a dynamic ecosystem that allows you to meet and chat or even grab a cup of coffee with them. In Feast-it’s case, there is also a huge number of great food traders and lots of events going on. Furthermore, another thing that is great about London is brilliant pool of talent, which has been mentioned by almost every company.
On the other side, with all these great opportunities that London offers to the startups, there is also huge competition. You have to keep it up constantly to make your business run in the long term.
Growth and the startup culture
There is an important component of a successful business which is “The Team”. The people you pick and build your team is a crucial part as it will generate the company culture in the long term.
We also discussed the character of their company culture in the interview. At Feast-it, they have a very strong and open culture. At the very core of it is empowering people to push the business forward on an individual level. There is very little hierarchy when it comes to ideas. in Hugo’s opinion, any talent who pushes the limits, who comes in and tries to fix problems within the business would be a great asset to the business.
There is nothing spectacularly genius about having an app or a platform where people can book caterers. As in many great startups, their success comes down to great execution with the support of the team.
One great benefit of working at Feast-it, that’s worth repeating is that you get to try lots of different foods! Some of the suppliers are even coming in to cook for them. While having a good bonding experience with the suppliers, this also gives them a chance to try out the product to ensure quality.
The tech solutions (SaaS library) they depend on
If we take a look at the list of the SaaS tools Feast-it uses in their daily life, Hugo’s favourite is PipeDrive for CRM. He personally recommends it for the startups as an early stage CRM tool since it has been a fantastic tool for them up until this point. They might consider signing up for Salesforce in the future but for today, it is one of the most frequently used tools for their daily tasks.
They are also using Drip for email campaigns. It has been a brilliant tool for them to send through really targeted email campaigns. In addition to Drip, MixPanel is another important tool They are using it to receive valuable customers insights to help their growth.
Future goals & milestones
You are guaranteeing high-quality with good businesses if you book through Feast-it.
Their main and ultimate goal is to become a 360 events agency giving people the ability to book different services through their platform. Hugo says that it is not going to be easy. Though, they are doing all the necessary work and research that should be done to get it absolutely right.
One of the challenging parts of it is finding a solution to ease the difficult booking process for events. The events industry is very old school but huge enough to be around forever. Feast-it is on their way growing to achieve their goal while putting the hard work in that will make it work.
We wish the best for them through the journey of this promising company!
Next week, we will take a look at the real estate business and have an interview with the founder of Lavanda – where real estate meets hospitality . To stay in the loop and understand the London Tech scene better, consider subscribing to our social media channels linked below.
Each week, we will be visiting a new startup office to meet with their team & founders. Stay tuned!