UK hospitality startup Sessions raises $10 million Series A to help grow the next generation of food brands and founders
After two years of difficulty, the hospitality industry is slowly coming back to life again. As economies around the world rebound from the shock of the covid pandemic, investors are cautiously optimistic as they look for the next big winners in the food sector.
One of the promising startups in the hospitality space is Sessions, a London, England-based startup that champions the brightest next generation of food talent within the industry. Today, Sessions announced it has raised $10 million in a Series A round led by Guinness Asset Management, with participation from Jon Moulton’s private investment vehicle, to which Perscitus LLP acts as a consultant.
Sessions will use the fresh capital infusion to continue helping aspiring food founders scale their businesses, with an aim of partnering with 15 more chefs and opening 500 more kitchens within the next 12 months. Alongside this, the funds secured will also be used to expand their team to be able to deliver this growth.
Founded by Dan Warne, formerly MD of Deliveroo, CFO Ian Banks, formerly CFO of Soho House, and leisure industry specialist Chairman, Graham Turner, Sessions empowers foodie entrepreneurs, allowing them to realize their business potential in a post-Covid marketplace. The business comprises physical consumer-facing locations (the successful Shelter Hall in Brighton being the first of several planned), delivery kitchens, and an accelerator model that will nurture and develop new food brands across the country.
Sessions operates the acclaimed Shelter Hall, a chef-led food hall on the Brighton Seafront which has topped TimeOut’s list of best places to eat in the city. Sessions currently partners with more than 13 leading brands – including Lost Boys Chicken, SoBe Burger, and Oxblock by Masterchef winner Kenny Tutt.
Sessions works with over 50 kitchens nationwide, where customers can order from the range of food brands that Sessions has partnered with. The funding will enable Sessions’ plans to open two more food halls in 2022 as well as launching the Sessions Studio designed to pair aspiring founders with world-class culinary support.
Warne commented: “We are proud to take investment from such a forward-thinking, collaborative fund as Guinness. Our purpose is to be a voice for the independents, championing change and empowerment, and it’s great to see our new partners entirely bought into that mission.”
Ashley Abrahams from Guinness said: “We are very excited by this investment and Session’s mission, which is made even more compelling by the quality of the team behind it. True disruptors in the hospitality sector, the hybrid physical and digital model of Sessions is of intense interest to us and we’re looking forward to watching the partnership between Sessions and Guinness grow.”