London Union, parent company of Street Feast, has announced it has raised £2.5m on crowdfunding platform Seedrs. The funds raised will be used to build a flagship street food market in central London alongside 12 local markets across the city.
The business, which is led by Jonathan Downey and Henry Dimbleby, is also in the process of finalising a deal to raise an additional £1m from private investors.
It received investments from 160 individuals, with investments ranging from £5k up to £200k.
Downey said: “The support we’ve received has been phenomenal. At the outset we wanted a relatively small number of highly engaged investors to take a real interest in our business and we have achieved that in just 30 days. It’s great to think we are now one step closer to creating the world’s greatest food market in central London”.
Dimbleby said: “What’s great is that the success of our fundraise means we are well on the way to transforming London’s food landscape. We’ve already set a date for our first investors dinner and for the Annual General Eating in July, where we’ll eat, drink, listen and vote together on important company decisions.”
London Union’s street food markets were visited by more than 300,000 people over five months this spring and summer, generating £3.5m of revenue and £1.5m of market EBITDA. As many as 1.5 million people are expected to visit London Union markets in 2016.
It plans to open Lewisham Union, a 30,000sq ft site at the other end of Lewisham shopping centre, in February with a beer hall and a Breddos Street Kitchen site and giant roof top wine garden. There will also be a gin palace,there and a rum bunker.
Downey told M&C that the company was also looking at three options in Shepherd’s Bush W12.
Internationally, he said: “We have got a deal on a great site in Philledelphia but I am not sure if we are ready to do it yet. It is supposed to open on the 1 May. We have found the operators we want for Philledelphia, we will look to bring a couple down from New York and probably one or two over from London, but the core, say 80% will be local.
“We could do with a break from London. I don’t think we will do Miami now after going out there and looking around. Some big decisions will be made before Christmas on stuff like that. We’ve had approaches, and I mean serious approaches from serious people, in Australia, Dubai, South Africa, Amsterdam and Berlin in the last two months.”