2022 at McWin – a look back as we move forward

Dear Friends and Partners,

We’ve reached the end of 2022 – a year, which no doubt has been tough, but we’ve managed to overcome its challenges, coming out even stronger.

At McWin we have been able to fulfill our ambitious growth plans and our belief in the potential of the food tech and food service industry has proven to be right. This has been possible due to our excellent team and the support we’ve received from all of you.

Today, we want to look back at key milestones we’ve achieved over the past 12 months and provide you with a brief outlook on what we expect for 2023.

Two new funds and a fully allocated first fund

Despite a difficult fundraising environment, we have been able to launch two dedicated new funds this year:

In June, we announced the McWin Food Tech Fund (FTF) with a target size of €250M, which will allow us to partner with outstanding founders and companies disrupting the existing food value chain, improving the way we produce, sell, and serve food and increasing food security across the world. FTF invests in leading growth-stage companies in key food technology verticals globally, with a focus on Europe and North America. As part of FTF, we established a Spanish vehicle McWin Food Tech Fund I FCR together with Abante Asesores Gestión S.G.I.I.C., S.A.U as the fund manager, to provide Spanish investors access to FTF.

In August, we announced the closing of the McWin Restaurant Fund (MRF) with initial funding commitments of €525M with single institutional investor as the lead limited partner. MRF invests in iconic brands and leading large cap restaurant groups with a ticket size of at least €100m, drawing on the McWin team’s expertise in helping brands reach the next level, supporting their digitization and internationalization. We believe MRF to be the largest dedicated fund of its kind in Europe and brought the total capital managed across the McWin platform to more than €1bn.

We’ve already made the first investments on behalf of MRF, acquiring a master franchise and development agreement from Restaurant Brands International to grow the Burger King and Popeyes brands in a number of Eastern European countries.

And that’s not all. Our first fund, the €250M-McWin Food Ecosystem Fund, has been fully allocated to 10 exceptional companies that are benefitting from McWin’s entrepreneurial experience and industry expertise. Rather than being a financial investor only, we see ourselves as a strategic partner for these companies. Our portfolio companies are well-prepared to weather market storms, given the resilience of their business models and our ability to transform the current economic environment into an opportunity for expansion.

A growing team

Not only have we grown our platform in terms of investment vehicles and assets under management, our team has tripled in size, and this is what made this year’s strong performance possible in the first place. The McWin team is made up of more than 30 experienced team members – 20+ working at fund level and 10 operating team at portfolio level.

The McWin team is led by 5 partners – 5 great professionals with a combined experience of over 150 years and very diverse skill sets, who complement each other. The latest to join the team has been Harry Goss, who has known our founders Henry and Steve for over a decade, and who will be heading up our food service vertical from London.

We are extremely proud of this experienced team based across our hubs in the UK, Poland, and Spain, and our global reach, paired with local teams on the ground elsewhere in the US, Middle East and Europe that help improve our portfolio companies’ operations.

Well-prepared for a new and challenging year

We believe the McWin platform is unique, offering opportunities to invest in the international food service and food tech sector at growth and mature stages, driving the change towards a more sustainable food system while offering exceptional returns.

This year, we have demonstrated that a difficult market environment offers attractive opportunities for us. QSR and fast casual dining concepts have proven to be more resilient in times of crisis and recession. The current economic environment requires operational excellence on all levels, and this is at the heart of what we do. What’s more, times of crisis and recession offer opportunity to expand as real estate becomes more attractive and the power of strong brands and scaled operations drive competitive advantage. This is why we are accelerating the development of our existing investments and are opening new stores, while complying with budgets and increasing efficiencies.

2023 will be another challenging year – but we are well-prepared, especially to take advantage of the following developments:

Food security and food availability
Food security and food availability have become important concerns – also on government agendas. Technology will play a key role in improving access to food whilst reducing costs and optimizing supply chains. Our platform, which unlocks value at the intersection of food and technology, is perfectly positioned to contribute to increasing both food security and food availability.

Difficult financing
Companies raising money in this market environment need to be resilient businesses, solve real problems, and have a clear path to profitability. This mirrors our investment strategy. It will also remain difficult to raise funds for investment vehicles – we are extremely thankful for your continued support so that we can continue to seize attractive opportunities.

Decreasing valuations and inflation
Fundraisings are taking longer to close and capital is becoming more selective. This offers us opportunities to invest at attractive multiples. Technology can help reduce costs in the supply chain in an industry particularly hit by persistently high inflation. Our food tech investments can help food service companies restore or strengthen their competitiveness.

Yes, 2022 has been difficult, but we are looking back today at a successful year for the McWin family. 2023 will not be easier, but we are ready to master the challenges we will undoubtedly encounter in the next months.

What helps us remain optimistic is our strong investor community. We would like to thank you for your confidence and support and look forward to starting another successful year. Bring it on, 2023!

Best regards,
The McWin Family