CoLab collapses into administration

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By Published On: April 12, 20230 Comments

CoLab, the gourmet ready-to-cook meal and grocery delivery startup has collapsed into administration.

CoLab has collapsed into administration, marking yet another food delivery service falling victim to economic pressures. Last week, the company announced it would be letting go of its team and ceasing operations as it failed to secure a new round of financing.

CoLab launched in August last year, a merger of gourmet restaurant-made meal delivery company ChefPrep, and Co-Lab Pantry, an online boutique food market. ChefPrep co-founders Elle Curran and Josh Abulafia acquired Co-Lab Pantry late last year, keeping Avin Chadee and Natasha Buttigieg of Co-Lab involved in the revamped merger. The company combines the offerings of ChefPrep and Co-Lab Pantry to deliver gourmet, ready-to-cook meals from over 150 restaurants across the country, gift packs, pantry items, and produce. “Born from a shared frustration of mass manufactured ready-made meals and food delivery services, we set out to shake up our industry,” reads the company description. “This means never compromising on taste, quality, or convenience, while connecting our wider community to Australia’s most loved restaurants, cafes, growers and makers.”

The company had backing from venture firms Artesian Ventures and Berlin-based Global Founders Capital. The company’s collapse was due to “unforeseen circumstances” as CoLab sought a new round of financing that fell through unexpectedly.

Mr Abulafia shared the news on LinkedIn last week, stating that the company was in the process of closing out a new round of financing when it fell through. “We then had significant interest for the company to be acquired and decided to put the company into voluntary administration to help, but due to unforeseen events our timelines became truncated,” he wrote. “It’s been a tough day for CoLab and unfortunately, we have had to let the team go.”

Reported by SmartCompany, CoLab has appointed Morgan Kelly and David Kennedy of Ernst & Young as joint administrators on Monday, March 27. The administrators intend to continue trading the businesses and are seeking proposals for an urgent recapitalisation of the Group or the purchase of the Group’s business and assets.

The collapse of CoLab was quickly followed by MilkRun’s collapse, as the food delivery industry crumbles due to significantly reduced demand and economic pressures such as rates increases, supply issues, and cost of living pressures.

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About the Author: Rosalea Catterson

Rosalea is the Editor of Power Retail. With a keen interest in consumer behaviour and tech, she covers everything ecommerce and hosts the Power Retail Power Talks Podcast.

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