Firm behind ‘Airbnb for kitchens’ closes in on £100k funding target

A company that matches underused commercial kitchens with food businesses is two-thirds of the way to reaching its target of £100,000 to help fund the expansion and development of its technology.

London-based start-up Kitchup has launched an equity crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs that will determine how quickly it can scale its business. As of this morning, it had raised more than £68,000 in the first five days of its campaign, putting it at 68% of its target.

As revealed by FEJ back in March, Kitchup badges itself as the UK’s first online managed marketplace for kitchen space. It allows caterers and operators to find and book affordable and flexible space on-demand, while kitchen hosts get a secure and simple way to earn extra income from sharing their commercial kitchen.

Referred to as “driving an Airbnb-style revolution in London kitchen space”, the team’s mission is to build a sustainable global network of kitchen spaces and a new kitchen economy.

They want to encourage a more collaborative and resourceful food industry that has social, environmental and economic benefits for all involved.

Founded by twin entrepreneurs Emma and Charlie Jones in October 2015, Kitchup has already established a thriving community and built up the largest listing of commercial kitchen spaces in London.

Charlie came up with the idea after mentoring a range of startups in London’s thriving independent food scene, all of whom had highlighted accessing affordable and flexible venues as a major challenge.

Over the past two years Kitchup has supported a diverse mix of food businesses with projects ranging from helping artisans expand their production, to supporting street-food traders transition into their first restaurants by providing a space to develop their menus, to facilitating locations for chefs to host supperclubs and teach cookery classes.

Co-founder Emma Jones said: “Through leveraging underused kitchens, we’ve seen first-hand how bringing people together to share space has helped build careers in food and provided businesses with the opportunity to grow. For our kitchen hosts, they get access to extra revenue from space they otherwise wouldn’t be using.

“The food industry is changing rapidly, and Kitchup is helping businesses remain agile – they can expand to new locations and test new markets or concepts while keeping costs low by only using space when they need it.”

Kitchup’s crowdfunding campaign is being run in partnership with Seedrs, with 10% of the business available for new investors. The team are aiming to raise £100,000 to improve their technology, expand their team and provide a better experience for their kitchen users and hosts in London and beyond.

Critically-acclaimed London barbecue restaurant Smokestak is one of the businesses that has already used Kitchup’s platform. Smokestak’s founder David Carter said: “We needed a kitchen space because we were turning our street food operation into a restaurant and we needed a kitchen to develop the menu and train some lads up to speed – and that’s why we called Kitchup. It is very resourceful, having a huge selection of kitchens with the right equipment you need and in the right area.”

EDITOR’S VIEW: ‘Airbnb’ for kitchens might not be as crazy as it sounds

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