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Monday, June 17, 2024

Sessions Scores £3.25m Investment from Virgin Money for Food Brand Licensing

Food brand licensing platform Sessions has successfully raised £3.25 million in investment from Virgin Money. This funding will enable Sessions to further develop its technology while acquiring and expanding its portfolio of brands. Despite being in operation for less than three years, the Sessions Platform has seen impressive growth, surpassing £47 million in annualised sales following a more than 300% growth rate in the latest quarter. This round of funding comes after a £8.1 million Series A round closed in 2022.

The Sessions platform identifies promising food brands and rapidly scales them by launching them in existing kitchens. Unlike traditional dark kitchen models, Sessions embraces a multi-channel licensing approach, making its brands available on delivery platforms and in physical venues, creating a robust omnichannel presence that drives consumer sales.

Founder Dan Warne stated, “To raise this round with such a great team at Virgin is testament to the significant growth we’ve achieved across the past 12 months, while radically improving profitability. It also marks a line in the sand for us to inject clear purpose and energy into our biggest growth lever – licensing and scaling brands through our tech platform.”

Sessions attributes its continued growth to two key principles: first, supporting authentic food concepts from passionate and engaged founders, as consumers prefer brands with genuine stories behind them. Second, grounding these concepts in the physical world, which helps build brand equity more rapidly than relying solely on delivery services. These principles have proven essential as pure dark kitchen models face significant challenges.

Mark Cook, Head of Venture Debt at Virgin, commented, “Virgin Money Venture Debt is delighted to have completed a £3.25m funding package with Sessions, a leading B2C technology company with a capital efficient physical and digital food platform. Sessions has an innovative asset light food licensing and franchising model which in essence helps chef founders rapidly test, incubate and scale their creations in an authentic way. We warmly welcome Dan Warne (CEO), Ian Banks (CFO) and all the Sessions team to our portfolio of fast growing technology companies.”

With this funding directed towards expanding its licensing efforts, Sessions is shifting away from large capital expenditure projects with high operational intensity, such as additional food halls. This strategic shift aligns with an asset-light, tech-enabled approach. However, Sessions’ initial venue, Shelter Hall, has achieved record revenues and profits over the 12 months leading up to September and remains a crucial content engine for the company. More than a third of the brands launched at Shelter Hall have expanded within the wider Sessions network. One of these brands, Patty Guy by Kenny Tutt, has scaled to 100 sites under license and opened two physical franchises in Worthing and Hastings in the past six months.

Sam Allcock
Sam Allcockhttps://businesslancashire.co.uk/
Sam Allcock is a highly regarded digital entrepreneur with over 20 years’ experience in online marketing for some of the World’s biggest brands. He has extensive knowledge and experience in SEO and digital marketing. He is based in Cheshire but has an interest in all things going on in the North West and enjoys contributing local news to the site.
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