A well-fed workforce is a happy workforce — City Pantry raises £4M for its catering marketplace

City Pantry, the office catering marketplace to make it easy to order in food for staff, company events and meetings, has restocked its funding.

The London-based startup has raised a new £4 million round led by Octopus Investments with participation from existing investors and Newable Private Investing — capital it plans to use to expand into more cities across the U.K. over the next 18 months.

Founded by Stuart Sunderland in 2013, City Pantry set out to improve the catering options open to companies in London. Its marketplace connects local caterers to businesses who need quality food delivered to their offices or to cover events, meeting and regular team meals.

When the startup first launched, Sunderland viewed its main competitors as traditional corporate caterers, sandwich retailers, pizza delivery places, and to a lesser extent, the newer breed of restaurant delivery companies such as Deliveroo and Uber’s UberEATs.

“While we’ve all seen the phenomenal growth of online food delivery in B2C over the past few years, food to businesses lags significantly behind,” he says, noting that legacy relationships with caterers and “the unique pressures of ordering for larger groups make innovation and progress slower”.

City Pantry claims to now serve over 20,000 meals per week to the employees of more than 500 companies, including Google, Amazon, PayPal, Slack, Spotify and Unilever. The marketplace has on-boarded 300 popular London restaurants and caterers.

This, says Sunderland, is evidence that City Pantry is successfully bridging the gap between the type of food options consumers have become accustomed to and what is traditionally available in the world of corporate catering.

More broadly, he says the company is tapping into a growing demand from employees for “greater workplace wellbeing”. This in turn is seeing employers wanting to offer more than just a good salary.

Grant Paul-Florence, Head of Intermediate Capital at Octopus Investments, echoes this sentiment, arguing that City Pantry is “uniquely placed to satisfy the growing appetite for high quality, hassle-free workplace meals, which organisations are increasingly demanding as they work to build an attractive company

Meanwhile, I’m told the startup has made a couple of significant hires in the last 12 months: Kate Miller (previously McKinsey, Google, and HelloFresh) has joined as CCO, and Sharon Lee (previously DHL, Elster Group, SushiDaily) has joined as COO.