Food prep business secures investment of £1.2m to scale-up and increase workforce
A Warrington-based healthy meal delivery provider, is embarking on its next growth stage after securing £1.2m of investment.
Fuel Hub was launched by retired professional rugby league player James Laithwaite and wife Michelle, a former global fashion wholesale manager, in 2019.
Its funding success will help fulfil its aim to become the go-to nutrition partner of sports teams and athletes.
The company prepares, cooks and delivers chef-prepared, nutrition-focused meals to sports organisations and elite athletes across the UK.
The company also provides weekly boxes of meals to households across the UK for those in need of healthy, nutritionally-balanced meals, that can be prepared in less than three minutes.
Following 300% year-on-year growth since its launch, the company has secured investment from Andy Bell, founder of Manchester FTSE 250 investment platform AJ Bell, and Fergus Lyons, former director at AJ Bell. Bell also owns two Michelin star restaurant Moor Hall.
Working with an already impressive portfolio of teams, including Warrington Wolves, Team GB, Fulham FC, Blackpool FC and Derby Country FC, the company plans to use the investment to focus on B2B sports nutrition which will be supported by its popular direct to consumer business.
Michelle and James will retain a 50% ownership of Fuel Hub and will remain as CEO and COO, respectively..
The funds will be used to scale operations, starting with a move into a brand new 10,000 sq ft facility, which will immediately increase capacity to more than 20,000 meals per week.
Fuel Hub also plans to double its staff headcount to 30 over the next 12 months and generate a similar increase in partnerships with sports organisations.
Michelle Laithwaite said: “This investment is a turning point for our business as it provides us with the means to scale our operational capabilities and the capacity to partner with even more sports organisations and bodies across the UK.
“It’s exciting to be able to tap into the expertise of Andy and Fergus, and we’re looking forward to building on the impressive growth we have achieved since we started. We are uniquely positioned to take advantage of the untapped and lucrative market for nutritionally balanced meals for elite sports people.”
Andy Bell, CEO and founder of AJ Bell, said: “Great businesses need great products and great people. Fuel Hub has both. Michelle and James’s enthusiasm for what is clearly a thriving business in an untapped market made this one of my easier investment decisions.”
James Laithwaite said: “Whether it’s on training days, pre-and-post match, or at home, I personally know the barriers teams and athletes face when getting their hands on quality nutrition.
“I know the impact the right food has on your physical and mental wellbeing and this is paramount to perform at your best – be that in sport, business or day-to-day life. The investment will enable us to provide even more teams and athletes with the crucial nutrition they need to perform at the highest level.