London-based restaurant chain Ahi Poké has been snapped up by European fast casual poke brand Poke House in a move that marks its new owner’s entrance into the UK market.
The deal comes a few days after Poked House closed a €20m (£17m) Series B funding round led by Eulero Capital, with backing from FG2 Capital and reinvestment from Milano Investment Partners Sgr (MIP Sgr).
The capital injection was secured in less than two years since the company’s launch and comes a year after it secured €5m (£4m) in a Series A round.
The proceeds from the investment are intended to fuel and accelerate the international expansion of the company, with the acquisition of Ahi Poké representing a key step in a broader plan to open 200 new stores across Europe.
The brand is now set to launch seven venues in the UK capital by the summer, with the first Poke House restaurant planned to open in Notting Hill in June.
Matteo Pichi, co-founder and CEO of Poke House, said: “We realised early on that poke could be a product with great potential, but at the same time many other chains were starting to introduce it on their menus. That’s why we decided to strongly differentiate our high quality fast casual offer and invest heavily in technology.
“Our data-driven approach allowed us to scale at a much higher rate than a classic restaurant chain, and to adapt the business strategy in a very reactive and effective way. This has proven to be crucial, especially in such complicated and challenging times for the food service industry, and we are now looking forward to further expanding our reach in Europe and introducing our concept to new customers.”
Poke House currently boasts 30 restaurants across Italy, Portugal and Spain, and employs more than 400 people. In the UK it plans to expand into city locations, shopping malls, outdoor kiosks and dark kitchens.
It is aiming to achieve a turnover of more than €40m (35m) in 2021.