A company looking to bring about a new way for cooks and diners to connect has received a £150,000 equity investment from The FSE Group as part of a £400,000 funding round. The investment will help the two-sided market place sharing economy business, WeFiFo, grow its user base and position itself as the leading platform for collaborative, community-based dining.
WeFiFo offers a platform where registered users can be both ‘hosts’, providing a dining experience in their home or a community space, and ‘guests’ who can book onto the events taking place in their local area. The company was launched in 2016 by Seni Glaister who co-founded The Book People.
Dubbed ‘Airbnb for the kitchen table’, WeFiFo uses best practice from the sharing economy but offers more than just a marketplace as it has been designed with a sophisticated infrastructure to encourage and empower talented cooks to upskill and earn an income. The platform supports home cooks, Supper Club hosts and professional chefs who don't want the risk of a bricks-and-mortar restaurant but want to attract a new audience, work flexibly and run their own kitchen.
At its core the model is founded on a desire to help people create and find unique, community building dining experiences, as Seni explains: “research shows that consumers are increasingly looking for something authentic and relevant to them with a personalised feel. WeFiFo fills this niche perfectly; hosts can offer anything from cake and coffee in the local community hall, to a barbecue in their garden, a picnic in the park or a full dinner in their home, giving guests an individual experience that connects with the community around them.”
The funds raised in this round will be used to further develop the product and grow the team to prepare for overseas expansion.
Avent Bezuidenhoudt, Senior Fund Manager at The FSE Group, comments: “Over the last decade the sharing economy has exploded, with some of the world’s best-known companies operating on this model. With Seni at the helm, WeFiFo has the potential to become a globally recognised platform for diners and home cooks; partnerships are already in place with a number of businesses, including Waitrose and WeightWatchers, and discussions are taking place to maximise links with further nationally and internationally recognised brands. We are really excited to be part of the WeFiFo journey and look forward to working with Seni and the team.”
The FSE Group manages funds on behalf of public and private stakeholders, providing debt and equity finance, ranging from £25k to £2m. The FSE team focuses on business potential rather than security available and works alongside entrepreneurs and SME business owners to help them achieve their growth ambitions.