Nestlé acquires fullstack delivery startup Freshly for $1.5B

Key facts:

  • Freshly, the Fullstack delivery startup has been acquired by Nestlé.
  • Freshly substitutes itself for the need to cook at home (or at the office). A customer can choose each week 4 to 12 meals among a list of 30, get them delivered at his door, ready to be heated and eaten.
  • Currently, Freshly says it delivers 1 million meals a week (that would make around 150,000 customers) and is on the path for $430M in revenues in 2020
  • Nestlé was already the lead investor in the 2017 $77M funding.

Why it matters – DigitalFoodLab’s opinion:

Nestlé is definitely looking for new ways to reach the final consumer. First, it was the acquisition of Blue Bottle (high-end coffee shops) at $700M in 2017. Sooner this year, it was the deal with The Hut Group to create a global e-commerce platform. Now it is a venture in the meal preparation and delivery business.

With these three pillars (DTC+e-commerce, retail shops, delivery), Nestlé has all the tools to strengthen its independence from traditional retailers. Freshly will also enable the Swiss firm to drive tests into personalization.

Is it the ability to create long-term businesses and acquire knowledge that has justified the costly acquisition price tag? Indeed, a rough estimation then is that Nestlé puts 60 times more value in Freshly meals than in Sodexo’s (a world leader in food services that serves 75 million meals a day with a $10B valuation). Interestingly, Sodexo bought Foodchéri, a Freshly inspired startup, two years ago.


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