Waterman Capital invests in My Food Bag ahead of sharemarket listing

Nadia Lim, Theresa Gattung and Cecilia Robinson founded My Food Bag in 2012.
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Nadia Lim, Theresa Gattung and Cecilia Robinson founded My Food Bag in 2012.

New Zealand private equity player Waterman Capital has invested in My Food Bag, ahead of a planned sharemarket listing for the fast-growing food delivery company in the next three years.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but it was one of the most significant transactions involving such a young New Zealand business, stakeholders said. 

Waterman Capital was founded in 2004, and its investments include David Reid Homes and Guthrie Bowron. 

My Food Bag said in May that it was looking for expressions of interest from potential investors after more than doubling its revenues and racking up 35,000 customers. It forecast then that revenue for the 2017 financial year would top $135 million.

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The company now had more than 50,000 customers and delivered more than one million meals every month.

On Wednesday, the company said it was business as usual, with Nadia Lim remaining brand ambassador and food expert. Cecilia and James Robinson will stay co-chief executives. 

Three seats on the board will go to Waterman Capital, while Kevin Roberts will remain chairman, and Theresa Gattung will also stay on the board.

"When we announced our intention to capital raise, we were flooded by customers wanting to invest in the company," Cecilia Robinson said.

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"As we have now set our sights on an IPO [initial public offering], we are thrilled to give Kiwis an opportunity to become shareholders."

Waterman would provide the expertise to accelerate My Food Bag's growth as the company prepared for the IPO, she said. 

My Food Bag had chosen to focus on New Zealand, and decided to exit Australia, 

The company was founded by Robinson, former Spark boss Gattung and MasterChef winner Lim in 2012. It won the rising star award in 2014 at the Deloitte Fast 50, which recognises New Zealand's fastest-growing companies under three years old.

It delivers meal ingredients and recipes, and initially targeted well-off home diners. It attempted to broaden its appeal in June with the launch of a "more affordable" service called Bargain Box.

My Food Bag didn't pioneer the concept of catering to home chefs internationally, but it was quick to bring the idea to the New Zealand market and subsequently expanded into Australia. 

With people increasingly time-poor and health conscious, the company said it saw further opportunities to grow.

 - Stuff

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