Aston graduate to acquire rival ‘smart food’ platform

Nick Holzherr
Nick Holzherr, CEO of Whisk

21 May 2018

  • Finalist on BBC One’s The Apprentice Nick Holzherr announces deal with German food tech company
  • Nick Holzherr graduated from Aston University in 2009 and since set up a digital food application used by many big name supermarkets.

An Aston Business School graduate who made the final of BBC One’s The Apprentice has announced plans to acquire German food tech startup Avocando.

Whisk, a digital food application used by some of the world’s largest food companies to make ingredients for recipes easy to buy, is joining up with its European competitor to drive forward their plans for global expansion.

Avocando is an online platform which offers a similar service to users in Germany, Austria and across Europe. It powers 600,000 recipes and reaches 20 million monthly shoppers across the continent.

Whisk’s CEO is Nick Holzherr, who graduated in 2009 with a BSc in International Business and Modern Languages and starred in series eight of the hit BBC show.

He said: “We’re delighted to build on a strong year of growth with this deal. With grocery eCommerce in Europe accelerating, it makes a lot of sense for both Whisk and Avocando customers.”

Whisk was founded in 2012 and raised $2 million from seed investors in the following two years. He has a team of 22 people who work remotely for the company.

The firm works with famous names such as Amazon, Walmart, Tesco and Asda, tracking over 100 million user interactions per month.

Nick has previously praised the University for giving him the skills and experiences to be an entrepreneur: “I learned a whole variety of skills studying business at Aston University – from finance to contract law to marketing. It is the general business awareness that Aston University gave me that helped me take my businesses forward.

“The societies that I joined and actually co-founded were actually essential to what I came away from university with. I co-founded SIFE, Students In Free Enterprise, where groups of 20-30 students came together and led projects in the community – for example in Birmingham Children’s Hospital teaching kids about business and projects with homeless people.

“I really enjoyed my time at Aston University. What I learned here I found really useful and use every day in my businesses.”


Notes to the editor

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About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiaries – students, business and the professions, and our region and society. Aston University is located in Birmingham and at the heart of a vibrant city and the campus houses all the university’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students.  Professor Alec Cameron is the Vice Chancellor & Chief Executive.

Aston has been a leading university for graduate employment success for over 25 years and our students do extremely well in securing top jobs and careers.  Our strong relationships with industry partners mean we understand the needs of employers, which is why we are also ranked in the top 20 for graduate employability.

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