Grocery delivery start-up Bother secures £4.4m in investor funding


Bother, the grocery delivery start-up, has secured £4.4m in pre-Series A funding from investors.

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Backers include Sun Hung Kai & Co and Venrex Investment Management, who identified the potential and invested in Uber, Just Eat and Not on the High Street.

The online retailer simplifies the replenishment of household necessities, ensuring consumers never run out of the boring basics. Using AI technology, the Bother Brain™ pre-empts the quantities a customer needs and how frequently. Bother then delivers boxes with a free next day service, no substitutions and no need to book a delivery slot.

Founder and CEO, Douglas Morton, created the service less than a year ago after identifying how outdated the grocery market is. The majority of consumers still buy household essentials from a supermarket along with their groceries because it is convenient. However, there is a growing shift in what consumers want. Increasingly, consumers want to support local retailers and producers and make more environmentally conscious choices, yet retain the convenient solution that supermarkets offer. Bother addresses each of these needs.

In the wake of Covid-19, consumers are expected to continue wanting to support local business. Bother encourages and facilitates this by delivering non-refrigerated items – such as cleaning products and store cupboard essentials – direct to consumers’ doorsteps, so they can shop local for fresh produce.

Douglas Morton, Bother Founder & CEO comments: “There is no reason for dishwasher tablets to be delivered in a refrigerated van. It is neither convenient, cost effective nor environmentally sustainable. With the rise of Deliveroo, recipe boxes and on-demand groceries, food can be delivered with increasing convenience, but bulky household items still lag behind, sold predominantly through the same channels they have been for 70 years – the supermarkets.

“One of Bother’s main goals is to redress the inefficiencies that have built up over generations of traditional grocery shopping. After years of lagging innovation in the industry, there is a real need to challenge the hold that supermarkets have, observe and forecast changes in consumer behaviour, and provide a solution that offers consumers what they really want. As we continue to present our ‘Shop simple. Live smart.’ model, we hope to be at the forefront of innovation in retail, giving our customers the ability to simplify the basics, and focus on the things that matter.’”

Mr Seng Huang Lee, Executive Chairman of Sun Hung Kai & Co, comments: “As part of our Venture Capital business, we look for companies that are thinking about real world problems and providing innovative solutions that have the potential to scale, the opportunity to disrupt large industries and the expertise to execute. Bother has positioned itself very well in all these areas within an industry that seems overdue for change. We are excited to add this investment to our portfolio of disruptive global companies.”

Mark Esiri, Managing Partner and Founder, Venrex Investment Management, comments: “Venrex loves to back unconventional people, going against the tide, in conventional industries. The last investment banker to go into groceries was Tim Steiner at Ocado. Douglas Morton is someone who recognises that the best opportunities are, as my former boss used to say, “where the rubber meets the sky”. Big and innovative ideas meeting crisp execution.”

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