Thistle Takes Funding After Focusing on Unit Economics; Drinkly Raises to Build Drinks Delivery Market


DTC’s Daily Digest brings you the latest news on the world’s fastest growing direct-to-consumer and challenger brands. In today’s edition: Thistle takes funding after focusing on unit economics; Drinkly raises to build drinks delivery market; and Klarna launches in Australia

Thistle takes funding after focusing on unit economics

Thistle, a food startup delivering thrice-weekly cooler bags customised with meat-optional, plant-based breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks, sides and juices, has raised USD$5m. 

Speed and convenience is the name of the game for Thistle. They achieve this by batching deliveries in the less-congested early morning hours and optimising routes to its subscribers, or by mailing weekly boxes beyond its own geographies. 

The funding round is led by the company’s first institutional investor, PowerPlant Ventures. This latest investment brings the startup to USD$15m in funding, and will help expand Thistle’s delivery domain. 

Thistle actually held off on raising more since launching in 2013 to make sure it hammered out unit economics to prevent an implosion. It’s also planning broader meal options, additional product lines and fresh distribution strategies like getting stocked in office smart kitchens or subsidised by wellness plans.

CEO Ashwin Cheriyan says “The reasons that so many food delivery companies have failed likely fall into two buckets: one, a lack of focus on margins and unit economics, and two, premature geographic expansion before proving out the business model”. 

Drinkly raises to build drinks delivery market

Drinkly, a tech platform that “delivers chilled drinks to thirsty folk in London, Edinburgh and Glasgow within one hour”, is fundraising on Seedrs

Retailers use the brand to sell directly to their growing user community. The business has delivered over 14,000 orders to date and in 2019 alone added over £110,000 in revenue to their first retail partner. 

Drinkly is aiming to tap into an underserved drinks delivery sector, banking on the huge market that is food delivery. Drinkly earns between 10-25% of each sale, as well as earning revenue from drinks brands by providing marketing, data and product testing. 

The funding is being used to recruit and grow the sales team in order to accelerate retail partner acquisition and geographic coverage. Drinkly is almost at its target of £250k, and plans to use the rest of the proceeds to fuel customer acquisition and retention, as well as progressing their tech offering. 

Klarna launches in Australia

Global payments and shopping provider Klarna has officially launched in Australia, by introducing the Klarna Shopping app. The app which will be available to download on iOS and Android, enables consumers to shop and pay with Klarna at any online retailer. 


The Klarna app, which has been downloaded over 12 million times, offers Australian consumers an elevated one-stop shopping experience and allows them to pay in four equal instalments at any online retailer with no interest or fees, when they pay in time. Consumers will also have the ability to browse brands, create universal and curated wishlists, receive price drop notifications, and have access to shopping inspiration, exclusive deals and discounts from local Australian retailers, all from the comfort of their smartphone. 

Klarna partnered with The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), which invested in the global fintech company last year to launch services in Australia and New Zealand. 

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