- Today, London Union, parent company of the highly successful Street Feast, launches one of the biggest crowdfunding bids in history, looking to raise £3.5 million to build a world-class, permanent street food market in central London.
- Founded by Leon’s Henry Dimbleby and Street Feast’s Jonathan Downey, the company is backed by a distinguished advisory board of founder investors, including Nigella Lawson, Jamie Oliver, Yotam Ottolenghi, Russell Norman from the Polpo Group, Soho House’s Nick Jones, and several of the UK’s best known food writers, broadcasters and entrepreneurs.
- London Union’s street food markets were visited by more than 300,000 people over five months this spring and summer, generating £3.5 million of revenue and £1.5 million of market EBITDA (excluding overheads and costs). As many as 1.5 million people are expected to visit London Union markets in 2016.
- Alongside 12 local markets across London, London Union wants to create the world’s greatest food market - at a permanent site in an iconic central London location.
- Investors will become ‘Union Members’, with benefits including a seat on the advisory board, an invitation to the company’s ‘Annual General Eating’, PLUS to all London Union markets and events, and the chance to review a restaurant with Giles Coren or Tom Parker-Bowles.
Jonathan Downey, co-founder of London Union, said: “We founded London Union to transform London’s food landscape, turning underused and derelict corners of the city into vibrant street food markets. In Lewisham, for example, we transformed Model Market – an abandoned 1950s market – into one of south east London’s most popular weekend destinations, with around 4,000 visitors each week.”
Henry Dimbleby, co-founder of London Union, said: “Although only five months old, London Union is already very profitable. This profitability enables us to open commercially-sustainable markets that bring communities together, create employment and provide opportunities for new food entrepreneurs to establish themselves without requiring large amounts of capital. We are doing this fundraising so we can move fast to open the world-class, permanent street food market that London deserves.”
‘Union Members’ - including over 60 street food traders and advisory board members who have already invested through previous rounds - will help to determine the future of the business. At the company’s Annual General Eating they will all come together to eat, drink, listen, learn and vote together on major decisions.
In addition to 30% EIS relief available to qualifying UK taxpayers, investor benefits include:
- A seat at the company’s Annual General Eating.
- Invitations to all new openings and preview parties.
- A ‘Union Card’ giving free access with three guests to all venues.
All of the above, plus:
- An invitation to London Union’s annual May Day party to mark the start of the spring/summer market season.
- An annual bar tab dividend of 10% (a total of £2,000 payable during years four and five which can be claimed earlier subject to EIS guidance).
- The net cost to the investor of a £10,000 investment is £5,000 after EIS relief and investor rewards.
All of the above, plus:
- An opportunity to review a restaurant with Giles Coren or Tom Parker Bowles (first five investors only).
- Year one: a 12 bottle case of limited edition London Union gin.
- Year two: a 12 bottle case of limited edition London Union whisky.
All of the above, plus:
- Membership to London Union’s advisory board along with the founder investors.
- Invitations to the bi-annual founder investor lunches/dinners.
- Year one: two 12 bottle cases of limited edition London Union gin.
- Year two: two 12 bottle cases of limited edition London Union whisky.
London Union’s advisory board:
- Petra Barran, founder of KERB
- Giles Coren, writer, broadcaster and restaurant critic, The Times
- Gizzi Erskine, chef and food writer, Sunday Times
- Bill Granger, founder of Bill’s (Australia/Japan) and Granger & Co
- Nick Jones, founder and CEO of Soho House Group
- Nigella Lawson, food writer and broadcaster
- Thomasina Miers, co-founder/director of Wahaca and writer, Guardian
- Jamie Oliver, chef, broadcaster and restaurateur
- Marina O’Loughlin, writer and restaurant critic, The Guardian
- Yotam Ottolenghi, co-owner of Ottolenghi and Nopi, and food writer, The Guardian
- Tom Parker-Bowles, food writer and restaurant critic, Mail on Sunday, and Food Editor, Esquire
- Stevie Parle, chef/owner of The Dock Kitchen, Rotorino and Craft London
- José Pizarro, chef/owner of José and Pizarro
- Mark Sainsbury, owner of the Zetter Group and Grain Store, co-founder of the Sustainable Restaurant Association
- Shamil Thakrar, founder and CEO of Dishoom
- Russell Norman, co-owner of the Polpo Group
- Richard Beatty, co-owner of the Polpo Group
- Richard Turner, chef/partner in Hawksmoor and Turner & George
- Rosie Boycott, Chair, The London Food Board
Stef Calcraft, who co-founded the advertising agency Mother, is the company’s Chairman.
Ben Aronsten, Chief Marketing Officer at Seedrs said: “We are excited London Union has chosen the Seedrs platform to provide an opportunity for the crowds to be a part of the rapidly growing street food movement with such accomplished entrepreneurs“.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Further details about the investment
London Union is raising £3.5m for a 10% stake in the business.
London Union is EIS approved. For taxpayers who qualify, a £5,000 investment will have a net cost of £3,500 after EIS relief and a £10,000 investment will have a net cost to the investor of £5,000 after EIS relief and investor rewards.