Foodoo, the UK-based food and drink online magazine, has ceased trading following its failure to secure second round funding. Backed by celebrity chefs and wine experts including Sophie Grigson, Gordon Ramsay, Gary Rhodes and Anthony Worral Thompson, the site boasted recipes, cookbooks, news, features and guides but failed to impress the people who mattered. With funding not forthcoming, the company will be seeking approval from members and creditors to go into voluntary liquidation.
Foodoo required investment of £10m to fund its plans to sell food and wine online – plans that might have eventually generated revenue, as although the marketplace is filling up, endorsement from a number of famous chefs may have given Foodoo the edge. As it was, the site had only advertising income to keep it going, and that proved insufficient, especially after electrical retailer Currys backed out of a £5,000 advertising deal.
This latest collapse of a business-to-consumer site highlights the perils of operating in a low-margin sector where critical mass will take significant investment and possibly years to achieve. EggsBenefit.com, an online catering marketplace that links restaurants, bars and hotels with their suppliers, is reported to be struggling to complete its second round of funding and could well be the next to shut up shop.