Appetise is crowdfunding to become the next big online marketplace

The growth in online food ordering has led to the emergence of a small number of household names dominating the takeaway and delivery market in the United Kingdom. A previously little-known online marketplace, Appetise (www.appetise.com), has recently opened a crowdfunding campaign to raise investment to challenge those household names and become the next big online marketplace for takeaway and delivery restaurants. 


Appetise is quick to distance itself from the delivery or logistics companies with their high costs and well-publicised legal disputes, and instead focus on the pure marketplace model, where there has been aggressive M&A activity in the last 12 months, leaving only one dominant player. Appetise sees this monopoly as an opportunity, with the pricing to both restaurants and customers creating a vacuum for a new player to offer a value alternative. 


Appetise claims to be cheaper than its larger competitor for both restaurants (with no joining fees and lower commissions) and customers (with no transaction or service fees). With its loyalty points discount scheme, Appetise says it can be cheaper even than going directly to the restaurants. Appetise believes that its test marketing has shown that consumers are ready to change ordering platform when they get a cheaper offer or some other additional benefits. 


Appetise is seeking to raise a minimum of £500,000 through its crowdfunding campaign, which is being managed by Crowdcube (https://www.crowdcube.com/companies/appetise-limited/pitches/Z57Jxq), and intends to use the funds to promote its restaurant partners, initially in Birmingham then across key regions in the United Kingdom. 


Talking about the crowdfunding campaign, Appetise’s CEO, Konstantine Karampatsos said: “With a minimum investment of only £10 through Crowdcube, we believe equity crowdfunding is a great way to involve our customers and restaurant partners in our story. As the value competitor in the market, a large part of our brand is to share the benefits of the growth in online ordering more equally and equity crowdfunding will help us to do this.”


Joining Konstantine at Appetise is former Arsenal Managing Director, Keith Edelman, known for building the Emirates Stadium. Keith has over 30 years’ experience in services and retail and said, “I have always liked businesses which have the potential to disaggregate an industry. I believe Appetise offers an excellent opportunity to disrupt the takeaway industry by adding more competition.”


Appetise was founded back in 2008 but was bought in 2016 by an investment fund which has spent the last 18 months redeveloping the technology improving the restaurant offering. It has 60,000 customer accounts and 370 restaurant partners. Although it has restaurant partners nationwide, it has a concentration of restaurants in Birmingham and believes local focus is important at this stage of its development. According to Konstantine, his growth strategy “is to focus our resources on one city at a time before expanding to the next.”


Now that its platform is ready and with a focused restaurant offering, Appetise hopes this crowdfunding will provide it with the necessary investment to challenge the takeaway giants, at least in Birmingham.      


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