Norway’s TCapital acquires SA meal kit company Daily Dish

TCapital, a Norwegian private equity group has announced it has acquired Daily Dish, a meal kit delivery startup based in Cape Town.

TCapital founder Geir Tellefsen (pictured above) said in a statement yesterday that Cape Town based Daily Dish has merged with TCapital’s healthy dinner delivery, Day to Day. The merger is effective from last Sunday (24 November).

Daily Dish and Day to Day would operate now, under the name “Daily Dish”, he said.

Daily Dish, which was founded in 2012 by Diane de Villiers and Jo-Pierre Lerm — much like its competitor UCook which is 50% owned by SA investor Silvertree (see this story), offers to deliver fresh ingredients or home cooked meals to customers.

After being acquired by TCapital, Daily Dish has been merged with Day to Day to operate under the name ‘Daily Dish’

Charles Back, the owner of Fairview Wine estate, had a 33% stake in the Daily Dish, according to Lerm.

The merged business of Day to Day (which Tellefsen claims is South Africa’s second largest meal kit delivery company) and Daily Dish will have more than 10 000 customers in South Africa on its book, he said.

“Producing more than 15 000 servings every week to its customers in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria. The vision of the company is to help South Africans to live a better life through improved a healthy diet,” he said.

The new company, he said, will offer customers a wider choice of meals, more flexibility and improved product quality.

He pointed out that customers will now have 25 different weekly dinners to choose from — claiming it is “by far the widest selection offered before by any meal kit company in South Africa”.

‘Founder very sick’

When contacted by Ventureburn by phone today, Tellefsen would not reveal how much the sale was worth, or what Daily Dish or Day to Day’s annual revenue is.

Tellefsen also told Ventureburn that De Villiers was “actually very sick now” and that it is “terminal” and that she would “not be able to take calls”. When contacted, her office confirmed that she was too ill to take calls.

When contacted Lerm would not comment on whether De Villiers is indeed terminally ill.

He said when Tellefsen had first approached De Villiers, it was because he had been “quite interested” in the software, as it allowed the business to automate most of the business functions. It allowed the startup to have only two operational staff, with about 10 to 12 packers.

Lerm said Back acquired 33% of the business two and a half years ago, partly based on the fact that De Villiers and Lerm sold his Fairview cheese products through a separate business, Cheese Club. Lerm didn’t want to divulge how much Back had invested.

When pressed on whether De Villier’s illness might have pushed the partners to sell, Lerm said only that De Villiers and Tellefsen had been discussing sale and had then approached he and Back.

“The offer that came about was viable for me and Charles (Back) to decide to sell our shares,” he added.

TCapital is headed by Tellefsen, with offices in Cape Town and Oslo. Among the investments are Day to Day, Rosendal Wines, Flexistore and Pine3Marketing.

Among other things, according to his LinkedIn profile page, Tellefsen was involved in 2009 in initiating a wine range for the Amy Biehl Foundation.

Read more: Silvertree move to take majority stakes in startups nets mixed view from founders [Updated]

Featured image: TCapital founder Geir Tellefsen (Facebook)



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