Gousto Meets Pledge to Halve Plastic in Boxes; Allbirds Files for Series D


DTC’s Daily Digest brings you the latest news on the world’s fastest growing direct-to-consumer brands. In today’s edition: Gousto meets pledge to halve plastic in boxes; Allbirds files for Series D; and ClassPass raises USD$285m. 

Gousto meets pledge to halve plastic in boxes

Gousto has met its pledge to reduce plastic from its meal kit boxes by 50%. The recipe box company announced it removed over 100 tonnes of plastic – the equivalent of 238 million plastic straws – in 2019. This along with the further 74.5 tonnes of plastic which will be removed this year thanks to its new insulation material, will see Gousto reduce plastic from its packaging by 50%. 

Gousto has also committed to all of its own-branded packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable by the end of 2022.

Speaking to Essential Retail, CEO, Timo Boldt, said its move to become plastic-free is the next sustainable step on for the zero food waste mission he founded the company on.

Over the last year, Gousto has hired hundreds of people to work in its new London HQ in Shepherds Bush, with around 300 technology vacancies left to fill. Boldt said the company uses algorithms not only to recommend meals to customers, but to assess the minimum amount of packaging the meals require to be transported safely.

Allbirds files for Series D

Allbirds has announced that it has filed for a Series D funding round led by Baillie Gifford and Fidelity. 

The round hasn’t closed yet, but it will be up to USD$75m, bringing the brand’s total funding to up to USD$150m. Allbirds founders Joey Zwillinger and Tim Brown say that some of the money will go toward its current growth, but they’ll also use it to help achieve its goals to become more sustainable in the age of climate change.

Allbirds expansion

“This is a big problem we’re trying to tackle,” says Zwillinger. “We can’t accomplish environmental stewardship and leadership in a quarter, or even a couple of years. Our time horizon is in the decades, and it was important that we find investors who would understand this.”

Allbirds is already carbon-neutral. It has rigorously assessed its own carbon footprint across its entire operations, from the raw materials used in the shoes to the carbon employees emit on their commute to work. In other words, Allbirds has imposed a carbon tax on itself, similar to how some governments—including Denmark and Finland—have levied carbon taxes on companies. 

ClassPass raises USD$285m

ClassPass has announced a Series E round of funding. The company, which teams up with boutique fitness studios, gyms and wellness providers and offers people a way to try out a variety of fitness classes without being members of the facilities at which they’re being held, has raised USD$285m in the round. 

ClassPass uses machine learning to provide recommendations to each member depending on their goals and preferences. The business has over 650 employees across five continents, having hired 250 people in the past year. In the past 18 months alone, it has expanded its footprint from four to 28 countries. In particular, the company says it has had “a really strong entry” in several European markets, including the Netherlands, France and Sweden, and plans to continue to “heavily” invest in European and Latin markets.

The company plans to use the new capital in part to continue scaling its reservation and booking platform. It also plans to grow within its existing geographies as well as expand into new countries. ClassPass also plans to scale its corporate wellness program.

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