Apprentice finalist Nick Holzherr secures venture capital funding for Whisk online food shopping app
Nick Holzherr, finalist on BBC1’s The Apprentice this year, has secured a £170,000 investment for Whisk, the online shopping business pitched to Lord Sugar.
The funding comes from a consortium of investors with extensive experience in web applications and affiliate sales, and is based on a valuation of £870,000 – £370,000 higher than Lord Sugar would have offered. The deal was brokered by Midven, a specialist Midland venture capital company focusing on SMEs.
The investors are:
- Nate Macleitch, chairman of cloud computing company Quickblox;
- Doug Scott, a Midland entrepreneur who has a track record of generating multi-million pound sales via affiliate marketing initiatives;
- Peter Dines, founder of C7 Medical;
- Guy Morris, who part-sold his digital marketing business Media Ingenuity in 2011 with a valuation of £34 million.
Macleitch, Scott and Dines will join the board of Whisk as non-executive directors.
Also entering the firm is technologist Craig Edmunds, who joins as co-founder. Edmunds has extensive experience in online transactional web services, leading the teams which developed the transactional functionality of LastMinute.com and Expedia.com.
Doug Scott said: “Quite simply, blending recipes with online shopping is a space in the online world which remains untapped, but certainly won’t for much longer. Whoever gets to market with a working application first is likely to dominate the arena, which is why I chose to invest in Whisk.
“The application makes sense – currently many of us go to the supermarket to shop and end up with a vast amount of produce we buy out of habit. A great deal ends up wasted because we haven’t thought through what we are actually going to cook with it. Whisk will change that completely – marrying up the finished dishes you want to create and the raw ingredients you actually need. It is of huge benefit to the customer.”
Peter Dines commented: “Although my background is not technology, I can see the potential of Whisk. In 10 years time every kitchen is likely to have a tablet PC next to the stove with thousands of recipes available at the click of a button, and Whisk may very well be the platform which drives this.
“It is also a concept which can be used across the globe. I was in India recently, where they are just launching online shopping in the form of www.bigbasket.com. This makes the revenue potential enormous for Whisk.”
Holzherr said: “I always knew the business model developed for Whisk was sound and that the technology to power it, although complex, could be built. The investment we have received from this consortium provides us with the ability to recruit an expert project team to build the app, with an anticipated launch date of September.
“From a commercial perspective, we are in talks with one of the major supermarkets to link with Whisk from the outset to ensure the proposition is operational from the start. We also have a number of brand partners interested in product placement opportunities, which is key to delivering our anticipated affiliate revenue.”
Doug Scott added: “Nick is a consummate salesman and Craig has the proven track record of delivering complex technology architecture projects. Together they have the talent and drive to make Whisk a success.”
Whisk is an online system that allows people to easily convert recipes into shopping lists that can be bought through online stores with just one click. It will be free for consumers to download and use.
For further information, log onto www.whisk.co.uk.
You can read Ros Dodd’s interview with Nick Holzherr here