Finnish startup Huuva powring delivery-only kitchens has picked up €4.9 million in funding. This investment round was led by General Catalyst, a US-based venture capital firm known for portfolio companies such as Canva, Airbnb and others. Notably, this is the second investment of General Catalyst in the Nordics after Blidz, a Finnish social shopping startup.
It was also joined by Lifeline Ventures, known for its early investment in companies like Wolt and Supercell, and a host of angel investors, including Laurel Bowden and Ilkka Paananen.
How Huuva plans to use funds?
Huuva plans to use the new funding to ramp up its 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 neighborhoods-first focus.
“Restaurant offerings outside city centers are close to non-existent. We’re on a mission to revolutionise the restaurant offering in underserved neighborhoods. We believe that the trendiest, most popular restaurants shouldn’t be the privilege of city centers or certain hot spots – and that the neighborhoods in the city outskirts should have other high-quality options than the average multinational restaurant chains”, explained Ville Leppälä, the co-founder and CEO of Huuva.
Adam Valkin, Managing Director at General Catalyst said; “Since their launch in September 2021, Huuva has made impressive progress. 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 optimized locations minimizing delivery times.”
Timo Ahopelto, Founding Partner at Lifeline Ventures said; “Huuva is a prime showcase of an ambitious, fast-moving startup with a distinctive offering in an exciting new market. Huuva is able to cater to all stakeholders, from restaurant entrepreneurs to food-loving end-customers and delivery operators – a unique position to be in. We are excited to continue to be a part of Huuva’s growth journey.”
Great food available everywhere
Founded in 2021 by Ville Leppälä and Ville Lehto in Helsinki, Huuva is on a quest to make great food available everywhere. It builds delivery-focused restaurant cohorts around cities and suburbs, thereby focusing on bringing new quality restaurant options to yet unserved neighbourhoods. Since September 2021, the startup has opened six kitchens around the greater Helsinki area.
Each Huuva kitchen gathers 3-6 well-known restaurant brands under one roof, thereby enabling consumers to order their favorite dishes from multiple brands in one delivery. Contrary to other delivery-only kitchens in the market, the company’s neighbourhoods-first approach places its restaurant cohorts around city perimeters, bringing much-awaited new restaurant options for people outside of the busy city centres.
With its proprietary technology, Huuva offers end-to-end services for restaurants joining its kitchen cohorts, making it possible for them to expand in days instead of months.
Already, the company has partnered with several top restaurant brands in Finland, including Via Tribunali, Green Hippo and Pupu.
“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. The future of restaurants will be driven through platforms like Huuva”, explained Leppälä.