02/02/2023 – Retail / Virtual / Peckwater / Brands / Europe / Eatclever / Acquisition / DACH
Peckwater Brands acquires competitor eatclever, expands in DACH region
Peckwater Brands, Europe’s largest operator of virtual food brands, has acquired eatclever, the virtual delivery brand market leader in the DACH region (Germany, Austria and Switzerland).
Peckwater Brands operates delivery-only food brands from more than 500 unique locations across nine countries: UK, US, France, Belgium, Finland, Sweden, Hungary, Czechia, and the UAE. Following the acquisition, the UK-headquartered company now takes over eatclever’s operations in almost 100 restaurants across the DACH region, expanding the company’s presence into three new countries across Europe. Peckwater will add Hamburg-based eatclever’s food brands to its portfolio, including taste&soul, Chicos, and KoChi (Korean Fried Chicken).
The ‘virtual food brand’ virtuoso
Since launching in 2019, Peckwater has built an offering of virtual food brands – i.e., food brands that are found only on third-party delivery aggregators like Deliveroo and Just Eat – powered by a data-driven software solution, and prepared in kitchens around the world in tandem with their regular offering.
Peckwater’s licensed brands span several categories including fried chicken (Seoul Chikin, Flip the Bird, Katsu), burgers (Dukes, Proper Tasty) and Central American (Papi Taco, Fiesta Mexico, Rebel Rito), while they have run shared brands with partners such as Unilever, Buzzfeed, and Heinz.
The takeover of eatclever is Peckwater’s second European acquisition in the past five months, following the onboarding of the Honest Food Company in September 2022. Peckwater’s international expansion has been fuelled in part by the £15 million Series A funding round the company completed in June 2022, backed by Stonegate Group, SBI Investments, Fuel Ventures, and Pembroke VCT, bringing the company’s post-money valuation to £65 million.
“Tremendous opportunity” to boost presence in Central Europe
“This is such an exciting development for us,” remarked Sam Martin, CEO and co-founder of Peckwater. “With eatclever, we have acquired the virtual brand delivery market leader across Germany, Austria and Switzerland, which is a tremendous opportunity to increase our presence in central Europe, and we’re thrilled to bring eatclever’s excellent selection of brands under the Peckwater umbrella.
“In the past 12 months we’ve greatly accelerated our international expansion, boosted by our Series A funding round last summer,” he continued. “We’re now in seven new markets, and working with hundreds of new clients – kitchen operators across Europe. The DACH market is a promising new arena for us, and this acquisition further cements our position as Europe’s leading virtual food brand operator.
“Our team has been working tirelessly to make our growth plans a reality, showing extraordinary commitment and insight while executing our strategy,” Mr Martin noted in closing. “I’m really proud of what they have achieved, and we anticipate more exciting developments and success in 2023, so watch this space.”
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