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Thu 29th Oct 2015 - London Union launches £3.5m crowdfund to create world’s greatest food market
London Union launches £3.5m crowdfund to create world’s greatest food market: London Union, parent company of the highly successful Street Feast, lhas launched one of the biggest crowdfunding bids in history, looking to raise £3.5m to build a world-class, permanent street food market in central London. Founded by Leon’s Henry Dimbleby and Street Feast’s Jonathan Downey, the company is backed by a distinguished advisory board of founder investors, including Nigella Lawson, Jamie Oliver, Yotam Ottolenghi, Russell Norman from the Polpo Group, Soho House’s Nick Jones, and several of the UK’s best known food writers, broadcasters and entrepreneurs. London Union’s street food markets were visited by more than 300,000 people over five months this spring and summer, generating £3.5m of revenue and £1.5 million of market Ebitda (excluding overheads and costs). As many as 1.5 million people are expected to visit London Union markets in 2016. Alongside 12 local markets across London, London Union wants to create the world’s greatest food market – at a permanent site in an iconic central London location. Investors will become “Union Members”, with benefits including a seat on the advisory board, an invitation to the company’s “Annual General Eating” and all London Union markets and events, and the chance to review a restaurant with Giles Coren or Tom Parker-Bowles. Downey said: “We founded London Union to transform London’s food landscape, turning underused and derelict corners of the city into vibrant street food markets. In Lewisham, for example, we transformed Model Market – an abandoned 1950s market – into one of south east London’s most popular weekend destinations, with around 4,000 visitors each week.” Dimbleby said: “Although only five months old, London Union is already very profitable. This profitability enables us to open commercially-sustainable markets that bring communities together, create employment and provide opportunities for new food entrepreneurs to establish themselves without requiring large amounts of capital. We are doing this fundraising so we can move fast to open the world-class, permanent street food market that London deserves.” “Union Members” – including over 60 street food traders and advisory board members who have already invested through previous rounds – will help to determine the future of the business. At the company’s “Annual General Eating” they will all come together to eat, drink, listen, learn and vote together on major decisions. Ben Aronsten, chief marketing officer at Seedrs said: “We are excited London Union has chosen the Seedrs platform to provide an opportunity for the crowds to be a part of the rapidly growing street food movement with such accomplished entrepreneurs.”

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