Lollipop, a London-based smart grocery shopping assistant announced on Tuesday that it has secured £5M in a new seed round.
The round was led by Octopus Ventures along with participation from Maki VC, Anterra Capital, and Plug and Play, and previous investors JamJar and Speedinvest. The announcement follows the pre-seed investment that was injected into Lollipop back in 2021.
How will the funding be used?
The company will use the funds to build out the product, which is in Beta. It helps in various stages of feeding the family, including meal planning, shopping, and cooking, claims the company.
“Getting the shop done and the family fed is already tough. As living costs rise, it is only getting harder for overwhelmed parents trying to eat healthily, live sustainably, and stick to a budget.” says, Tom Foster-Carter.
“Tracking your family’s nutritional intake and what’s left to use up in your cupboards should be as effortless as tracking your money on Monzo. That’s what we’re building at Lollipop,” he says.
Brainchild of ex-Monzo COO
Lollipop was founded in 2020 by ex-Monzo COO and co-founder Tom Foster-Carter and Chris Parsons in London. It is touted to be the first holistic approach taken towards grocery shopping with support at every stage such as providing meal inspiration, achieving health goals, and supporting the kitchen.
With the ‘cook’ mode, users can cook simple recipes and make it easy to get food from the fridge to the table in no time. It displays the method and ingredients together on the screen. With this smart assistant, it is possible to prepare LollipopFAST recipes in just 20 minutes and share recipe links, and mark meals as cooked to help others in the community.
Partnership with BBC Good Food
Lollipop has teamed up with a range of partners, including BBC Good Food and Sainsbury’s, to help busy families plan meals, shop quickly and cook delicious food, effortlessly. Its meal-first approach allows shoppers to add recipes, build custom meals and even import external recipes to their baskets in just a few seconds. Personalised intelligent ‘playlists’ can also be created so remaining household essentials can be added to the basket in an instant.
The BBC Good Food recipes are complemented by the company’s own Lollipop Original recipe series, a set of fast, family-friendly dishes developed in-house with the ex-Head of Food from HelloFresh. Its partnership with Sainsbury’s ensures dependable delivery covering 98% of the UK with a range of over 30,000 high-quality items at a low cost.
Matthew Roberts, Head of Digital Strategy at Sainsbury’s says, “We are pleased to partner with Lollipop in this new venture. They share our commitment to helping everyone have access to great value, healthy food and we are fully behind everything they are doing to support families across the UK. Lollipop uses technology in an innovative way and we look forward to working together to bring great value, innovative food to more customers.”
Based out of London and New York, Octopus Ventures is a multi-stage venture capital investor specialising in B2B software, health, money, deep tech, and consumer. With £1.3B under management and investing over £200M a year, Octopus Ventures is one of the largest and most active venture investors in Europe.
Recently, the VC invested in cybersecurity platform Inigriti, fintech company Delio, and HR tech assessment Sova.
Matt Chandler, Investor at Octopus Ventures comments, “We’re seeing more and more ways to shop for groceries, from meal kits to one-hour delivery offerings, yet 80% of households spend over an hour a week meal-planning and online grocery shopping. There’s a huge gap for a mass-market idea that makes it easier for households to choose and shop for delicious meals without limiting their choice. Lollipop fills that demand and, importantly as the cost-of-living rises, does so without charging consumers a premium. We believe it can become a one-stop grocery shopping experience. We’re proud to be backing the team and look forward to lending our own experience to help them build on the already impressive community they’ve created on the platform.”