Digby Vollrath, CEO & Co-Founder
Feast It launched in 2017 and is now the UK’s leading event catering platform. Like all great stories, Feast It started with a simple idea to improve event catering, eat free food, and to win a girl. Co-founders and childhood friends, Digby and Hugo, had spent years working in the food, festival and events industries. They grew incredibly frustrated at the amount of time they were spending trying to hunt down the best catering, finding out if they were available and then trying to book them. It seemed a bit mad that there wasn’t a modern, simple to use booking platform that would let them book the ideal food and drink for their next event.
Today, Feast It provides hassle-free, customisable event catering – from a 20 person dinner party to 40,000 people festivals. The business works with over 650 of the UK’s top caterers and mobile bars across a range of events, spanning corporate occasions to weddings and featuring the likes of BAO, Nobu, Honest Burgers and Mr Fogg’s.
In 2018 alone, the business secured a £680,000 investment for national expansion, whilst also growing a staggering 1000% and amassing a total of £1 million in investments.
Fast forward to February 2019 and the brand raised £1.7 million in an impressively over-subscribed funding round led by Jon Claydon, ex-Head of advertising agency Claydon Heeley Jones Mason, bringing its total funding to-date to £2.7 million. Other investors contributing to the round included shareholder and previous Chairman, in The Hut Group, Richard Pennycook, Coldplay member Guy Berryman, serial entrepreneur and star of Dragon’s Den Sarah Willingham and luxury entrepreneur John Ayton MBE. The business is forecast to maintain a similar year-on-year growth rate.
Follow the link to the Feast It website – feast-it.com
Feast It required representation of the business, as it sought investment across two rounds. Round one: £250,000 and Round two: £1,700,000.
Why did you choose Gannons?
We required a law firm who had recognised expertise in working with start-ups, particularly in the areas of Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) and the Enterprise Investment scheme (EIS). From the initial meeting, it was clear Gannons excelled in their field, whilst also having incredible knowledge of the hospitality industry.
We only tend to work with people we will enjoy working with. We liked the Gannons ethos, there was none of that stuffiness you associate with law firms – they were extremely personable, transparent and straightforward, with huge amounts of integrity. We felt we could trust them to deliver our brief.
Tell us more about the service provided to you from Gannons
The firm worked with us on our shareholders agreement and constitutional documents, together with setting out the relationship between angel investors, institutional investors, founders and seed investment partners. They also oversaw obtaining the advance assurance from HMRC that our investments would qualify for SEIS and EIS relief.
In the second round, in addition to overseeing the £1,700,000 investment, they also managed the transfer of shares from an existing shareholder to a new.
(if any) did you
To say we put Gannons under pressure to deliver to extremely tight deadlines across both rounds of investment would be an understatement. With the first round, we approached Gannons on 06 December, 2016 and somehow they were able to complete on 23 December, whilst I was sat on a beach in Mexico. With the 2nd round, we instructed them on 11 October, 2018 and we completed within 5-weeks.
In addition to the tight timelines, they also had to manage and execute documentation to the exacting edits and requirements of 20 different stakeholders to ensure all parties were aligned – no easy feat!
What would you say about working with Gannons?
Gannons get things done very, very quickly and efficiently. From the outset, we built incredible rapport with Catherine, Helen and Arran. They are consummate professionals, whilst also being fun to work with.
As a business start-up, undertaking our first round of investment, I think it is fair to say that we had absolutely no clue what we were doing when it came to the legal requirements. Helen was brilliant, she literally took our hand and patiently walked us through each and every step of the process – it really was an education, but not one that made two 24-year olds feel like idiots. A large part of our legal understanding today has come from Helen.
Would we work Gannons again? Absolutely. Good lawyers are a team you don’t notice, by virtue of not having any issues and in this respect, Gannons exceeded all our expectations. The legal work they undertook ensured we secured funding and without the funding, we wouldn’t have a business. We now have a solid base of legal documentation and we’re completely compliant. Great work team Gannons.
Catherine gets involved with thorny issues calling for her bank of practical commercial knowledge amassed over too many years of practice to count. Very good a thinking up work around solutions.