voilà! Gastronomic food experiences at your doorstep
We are very excited to announce our investment into voilà to accelerate their platform for at-home high-end food experiences across Europe. We are leading a $10m round alongside FoodLabs and angels.
The pandemic made us all appreciate our homes even more. While I am very glad that everything is opening up again, sometimes not leaving the house can be pretty nice. That is why at EQT Ventures we believe that the next leap in culinary experiences is to enjoy the best of fine-dining and gourmet food from the comfort of your own home. voilà partners with some of the very best and distinctive restaurants in Europe, as well as with Michelin-starred chefs, building a new marketplace in foodtech by focusing on high-end experiences, brought to your home through nationwide delivery. Partnerships to date include restaurants like Cookies Cream (the first vegetarian restaurant to have been awarded a Michelin Star), Michelin-Starred chefs Hendrik Otto and Daniel Gottschlich and local authentic food trendsetters and tastemakers such as Dim Sum Haus in Hamburg and ramen specialist Food Technique in Berlin.
Meals are prepared by chefs in the restaurants themselves and delivered to your doorstep via overnight shipping alongside, for example, a wine pairing, the chef’s curated playlist and a QR code leading you to photos or videos of the chef explaining how to best serve and present the meal at home. I recently received “Franken Worldwide” from Winzerhof Stahl on a Friday afternoon for an evening with friends. Dead simple to prepare and the chef’s videos and personal messages made it a brilliant experience and a great alternative to eating out.
While voilà provides a unique option for consumers, chefs and restaurant owners adore voilà just as much: the platform makes it possible for them to bring their signature menus to life nationwide, thereby increasing sales and boosting brand awareness. The pandemic has also shifted their perspective: many high-end restaurants became more and more open to such new options. They can reach a whole new customer group, capitalizing on the issue of spare capacity that most restaurants frequently face.
voilà was founded in May 2021 by Julius Wiesenhütter (CEO), Florian Berg (COO) and Mostafa Nageeb (CPO). The whole team lives and breathes foodtech: Julius, for example, was previously MD at Foodora. Florian worked for Foodpanda in Hong Kong and Mostafa was part of the product team at Delivery Hero in Berlin. The platform went live in August of last year, following a series of trial deliveries from partner restaurants. Building on years of working in the food industry, the voilà team has mastered the formula needed to deliver high-end restaurant experiences at home — a strong foundation for its vision of conquering at-home restaurant discoveries across Europe, at scale. The opportunity is huge: The global fine-dining market is estimated to be worth around €455bn.
Unlike the growing trend of quickcommerce we have been seeing, voilà is not purely targeting the urban consumer — this is a product that brings the same high-end experience to everyone. With remote working now a reality, more people are leaving city centers and moving to smaller communities. If the fancy restaurant around the corner is not available for a walk-ins anymore, consumers will increasingly look for alternative ways to bring this experience right to their homes.
The pandemic has fundamentally changed the way we think about dining, and the next few years will see that transformation continue. That is why we are proud backers of the team at voilà, alongside FoodLabs and strong angels. voilà is already ‘up and delivering’ and has supported local independent restaurants and chefs through multiple lockdowns. The next step is a bold cross-border approach, and the market is ready for it. If you live in Germany, try it out for that next date night: how about “Re(h)serviert” by chef Marlene Berger from Frauenau in the Bavarian forest, or Cookies Cream’s vegan spring offering, straight from Berlin?