Lollipop, an online grocery shopping app founded by a former Monzo executive, has raised £5 million.
The London-based start-up, led by Tom Foster-Carter, the former COO at the UK fintech mainstay and a co-founder of Curve, is a one-stop-shop for people to plan their meals and do their grocery shopping.
The seed round was led by Octopus Ventures with Anterra Capital, Maki VC, Plug and Play, JamJar and Speedinvest participating.
Lollipop centralizes meal planning, shopping and cooking in one app and is chiefly aimed at busy families with children. It helps users to construct their shopping lists for the meals they want to cook and provides a means to shop and have their grocery baskets delivered through its partnership with Sainsbury’s.
Foster-Carter said that the idea for the app formed after the birth of his son and the challenges in managing the “chore” of the weekly grocery shop.
Lollipop takes cues from Foster-Carter’s previous roles at Monzo and Curve. Both put a great deal of focus on design and user experience to improve people’s banking experience. Lollipop is trying to replicate that for meal planning, shopping and cooking.
“You pick your meals, you press a button, filling your basket with the products that are attached to that recipe,” Foster-Carter explained.
“The job is not done until the family is fed. We see our overall goal here is getting the family fed effortlessly, so we actually get in the kitchen with you and support you with that part.”
Lollipop has partnered with Sainsbury’s to list its products in the shopping portion of the app, with 30,000 stock items.
“Our technology maps the ingredients to Sainsbury’s products. You can book the slot through us. Then you check out and the goods arrive. Obviously we will add further partners,” he added.
Lollipop’s revenue model is a commission charged on every order but Foster-Carter sees that expanding into branded and sponsored content on the app as well as a subscription model for “power users”.
“Because we’re a recommendation engine, you can see that we’ve got an amazing opportunity here to work with brands. For example, you could be the vegetable stock of choice for our mapping on our recipes. We’re very transparent so we’ll highlight that that’s been sponsored, but allowing people to sponsor those slots in the recipe mapping is also going to be a really good route for us.”
With the £5 million in tow, Foster-Carter said Lollipop intends to double its team from 20 to 40 by the end of the year.
“This is a seed round and we will basically use this to, first of all, build out the product,” he said.
“We are starting the marketing journey … we’ve been in our own bubble and now we’re starting that marketing journey, so I’m just pushing on advertising, pushing on our PR and also building a community.”