Helsinki-based Huuva cooks up €4.9 million to deliver delicious takeaway outside the city

Getting food delivered is something that has now become second nature to city dwellers. With the boom of delivery providers in the last couple of years, it’s a new culinary phenomenon that has changed many of our eating habits. However, for those outside the city centre, in the suburbs, and beyond, it’s still a luxury. 

Founded in 2021 by Ville Leppälä and Ville Lehto, Huuva wants to make great food available everywhere. The Helsinki-based startup has just picked up €4.9 million in a fresh round led by General Catalyst. The round was also joined by Lifeline Ventures, known for its early investment in companies like Wolt and Supercell, as well as participation from a number of angel investors including Laurel Bowden and Ilkka Paananen. 

Huuva builds delivery-focused restaurant cohorts around cities and suburbs, focusing on bringing new quality restaurant options to yet unserved neighbourhoods. Since September 2021, Huuva has opened six kitchens around the greater Helsinki area. 

Ville Leppälä, the co-founder and CEO of Huuva, explained: “Restaurant offerings outside city centres are close to non-existent. We’re on a mission to revolutionize the restaurant offering in underserved neighbourhoods. We believe that the trendiest, most popular restaurants shouldn’t be the privilege of city centres or certain hot spots – and that the neighbourhoods in the city outskirts should have other high-quality options than the average multinational restaurant chains”.

Each of Huuva’s kitchens gathers 3-6 well-known restaurant brands under one roof, enabling consumers to order their favourite dishes from multiple brands in one delivery.

Ville added: “Before setting up a new Huuva kitchen we analyze the local trends and current restaurant selection to bring the most fitting restaurants for the people. It’s also important for us to consider delivery operations and put the neighbourhood’s comfort first.”

So, not only does the startup provide a much-demanded service, but they do so with cultural sensitivity and community awareness. Contrary to other delivery-only kitchens in the market, Huuva’s neighbourhoods-first approach places its restaurant cohorts around city perimeters, bringing much-awaited new restaurant options for people outside of the busy city centres. 

Ville continued: “Our vision is to enable local entrepreneur-driven restaurant brands to scale their business without the limitation of country or city borders – or time – through Huuva’s locations around Europe. The future of restaurants will be driven through platforms like Huuva.”

Huuva has already partnered with several top restaurant brands in Finland, such as Via Tribunali, Green Hippo and Pupu. With the new funding, Huuva is looking to ramp up its expansion in Central Europe, recruit +100 new team members with a heavy focus on business and operations talent and better serve the market with its unique neighbourhoods-first focus.

Adam Valkin, Managing Director at General Catalyst said: “Since their launch in September 2021, Huuva has made impressive progress. Their unique approach in Europe has significantly improved the food selection for the end customer in a number of neighbourhoods, while making food delivery more profitable for restaurants.   At the same time, couriers get to pick up from delivery optimized locations minimizing delivery times.”

Timo Ahopelto, Founding Partner at Lifeline Ventures added: “Huuva is a prime showcase of an ambitious, fast-moving startup with a distinctive offering in an exciting new market. Huuva is able to cater to all stakeholders, from restaurant entrepreneurs to food-loving end-customers and delivery operators – a unique position to be in. We are excited to continue to be a part of Huuva’s growth journey.”