The startup Huuva, which enables users to order from different restaurants in one order to ease the food delivery system, has secured 4.9 million euros in a seed round led by General Catalyst, the venture capital firm headquartered in the USA. Helsinki-based Lifeline Ventures also joined the Finnish startup’s round along with angel investors including Laurel Bowden and Ilkka Paananen. With the funding, Huuva is ready to enlarge its team by hiring over 100 new talents and expand across the Central Europe.
Huuva raises 4.9M€ from US investor General Catalyst to bring great delivery food outside city hot spots
Building delivery-only kitchens, Huuva sets its sight on Central Europe with its unique neighborhoods-first approach
Helsinki-based Huuva, a startup building restaurant cohorts around cities, announced today their new €4.9M seed round led by General Catalyst, a US-based venture capital firm known for portfolio companies like Airbnb, Deliveroo, Snap and Stripe. The round was also joined by Lifeline Ventures, known for its early investment in companies like Wolt and Supercell. The round also saw participation from a number of angel investors including Laurel Bowden and Ilkka Paananen.
Founded in 2021 by Ville Leppälä and Ville Lehto, Huuva is on a quest to make great food available everywhere. Huuva builds delivery-focused restaurant cohorts around cities and suburbs, focusing on bringing new quality restaurant options to yet unserved neighborhoods. Since September 2021, Huuva has opened six kitchens around the greater Helsinki area and served countless hungry food loving customers.
With the new funding, Huuva is looking to ramp up its expansion in Central Europe, recruit +100 new team members with a heavy focus on business and operations talent and better serve the market with its unique neighborhoods-first focus.
“Restaurant offerings outside city centers are close to non-existent. We’re on a mission to revolutionize the restaurant offering in underserved neighborhoods. We believe that the trendiest, most popular restaurants shouldn’t be the privilege of city centers or certain hot spots – and that the neighborhoods in the city outskirts should have other high-quality options than the average multinational restaurant chains”, explains Ville Leppälä, the co-founder and CEO of Huuva.
Each of Huuva’s kitchens gathers 3-6 well-known restaurant brands under one roof, enabling consumers to order their favorite dishes from multiple brands in one delivery. Contrary to other delivery-only kitchens in the market, Huuva’s neighborhoods-first approach places its restaurant cohorts around city perimeters, bringing much-awaited new restaurant options for people outside of the busy city centers.
Before setting up a new Huuva kitchen, Huuva’s team analyzes the local trends and current restaurant selection to bring the most fitting restaurants for the specific neighboorhood. At the same time, Huuva considers carefully the kitchen placements and its delivery operations to put the neighborhood’s comfort first.
“Our vision is to enable local entrepreneur-driven restaurant brands to scale their business without the limitation of country or city borders – or time – through Huuva’s locations around Europe. The future of restaurants will be driven through platforms like Huuva”, describes Leppälä.
Huuva offers end-to-end services, such as their proprietary technology, for restaurants joining its kitchen cohorts, making it possible for them to expand in days instead of months. Huuva is currently planning on opening its first kitchen location in Central Europe.
Adam Valkin, Managing Director at General Catalyst says; “Since their launch in September 2021, Huuva has made impressive progress. Their unique approach in Europe has significantly improved the food selection for the end customer in a number of neighborhoods, while making food delivery more profitable for restaurants. At the same time, couriers get to pick up from delivery optimized locations minimizing delivery times.”
Timo Ahopelto, Founding Partner at Lifeline Ventures says; “Huuva is a prime showcase of an ambitious, fast-moving startup with a distinctive offering in an exciting new market. Huuva is able to cater to all stakeholders, from restaurant entrepreneurs to food-loving end-customers and delivery operators – a unique position to be in. We are excited to continue to be a part of Huuva’s growth journey.”
Huuva has already partnered with several top restaurant brands in Finland, such as Via Tribunali, Green Hippo and Pupu.