Ex-Monzo boss wants weekly shop to ‘feel like magic’ as Lollipop startup reveals £5m fundraise
Lollipop, a grocery startup headed by a former Monzo exec, has raised £5m, as it appeals to families wanting to cut down on the time taken by the weekly shop.
While a flurry of startups have looked to offer shoppers on-demand grocery delivery, ex-Monzo COO, Tom Foster-Carter, has taken a different approach to the burgeoning category.
While Getir and GoPuff users are a ‘need it, want it now’ demographic, Foster-Carter told CityA.M. that Lollipop will appeal to families, “who can’t let their fridges get down to zero.”
“They can’t be in a situation where they don’t know what they’re going to eat that night – when you have a family you have to think ahead,” he said.
As with rapid delivery apps’ success, Lollipop is hoping to tap into an “obsession with speed and time,” that has seen shoppers keen to change their consumer behaviour.
After looking at the market and coming to the assessment that “everyone seems to be approaching this in the same way,” the idea for the app was created, just as the Covid pandemic hit.
Now that investors have realised the potential of the online grocery market – with supermarkets seeing roaring profits and delivery startups expanding rapidly – Lollipop is hoping to fully flesh out its offering, currently in Beta mode.
With shoppers “busier than ever,” Lollipop offers families a streamlined meal-planning and grocery ordering platform – although just for products from launch partner Sainsbury’s currently.
The platform will offer users a “Harry Potter moment” with ordering essentials like toilet paper and kitchen roll, as well as offering its own chef-curated recipes and meal plans, to make the weekly shop “feel like magic.”
For many families, the time taken up by the weekly shop may feel insignificant in comparison to the rapidly increasing cost of it.
Indeed, affordability was increasingly being considered into the platform’s offer, Foster-Carter explained.
“[Affordability] is something we’re working on at the moment and we feel is going to become more and more important, more than we anticipated six months ago.”
“Where the market is, with the cost of living crisis,I think people will be shopping based on value more than ever,” he said, with potential additions to the platform including budget-based metrics.
Future plans for the app could also include encouraging a “more collective way” for users to consider food waste that would see neighbours share leftovers.
“There’s definitely your usage in your house and maximising that, but wouldn’t it be more powerful if you could automatically make it so that your neighbours were part of that, that same goal of reducing food waste?”
The startup has raised £5m in a seed round led by Octopus Ventures, which Foster-Carter described as “super oversubscribed.”
The fundraise comes after a pre-seed round carried out in December 2020, with the firm’s investors including Maki VC, Anterra Capital and Innocent founders’ vehicle JamJar.
The company plans to double its team – currently a 20-strong workforce based out of a warehouse unit near London Bridge – by the end of this year.