Brussels, 7 September 2020 – Vendis Capital, the private equity fund specialized in consumer brands, joins forces with Maxime Buhler and Samuel Carré, co-founders of Pokawa, the leading Poke Bowl concept in France.
Based in Paris and founded in 2017 by Maxime Buhler and Samuel Carré, Pokawa is the leading fast-casual restaurant chain in France for poke bowls, an exotic dish from Hawaiian inspiration, made from rice, marinated fish, fruits and vegetables.
Surfing on the growing appetite of consumers for healthy food, Pokawa offers customised dishes, made to order with simple and fresh ingredients. The brand stems from the travels of its co-founders and has developed around an exotic universe, matching with the expectations of the new consumer. In 2019, Pokawa received the award for the most ordered dish worldwide on the Deliveroo platform, namely the “Super Protein Poke”, which demonstrates the relevance of the offering.
Pokawa has experienced a steep growth curve since its inception and now counts 27 mostly self-owned restaurants across France but also internationally, with first openings in Belgium and Luxembourg. Together with its on-site and take-out catering, Pokawa has also become the benchmark on delivery platforms. Thanks to its hybrid model, between retail and digital, Pokawa emerged stronger from the Covid period and is now positioned as the growing brand in the sector.
Building on their success and the growth of their concept, Maxime Buhler and Samuel Carré have chosen to join forces with Vendis Capital in order to plan for an ambitious development.
Maxime Buhler, co-founder, says : « It is with great pleasure that we welcome Vendis Capital to the Pokawa adventure. As we share the same vision and ambition for Pokawa, we will now work together in order to consolidate our leadership position in France and accelerate our growth internationally».
Samuel Carré, co-founder adds : « This partnership with Vendis Capital validates the fantastic work carried out by the entire Pokawa team for nearly 3 years and will allow us to approach a new phase of the brand’s development in Europe in an ambitious way ». Mathieu de Medeiros, partner at Vendis Capital, concludes: « We are impressed by the entrepreneurship and agility shown by Samuel and Maxime in the development of Pokawa and by the resilience of the business model during the Covid period. We are dedicated to supporting talented entrepreneurs in ambitious growth plans across Europe. Maxime and Samuel fitting in perfectly with this philosophy, this partnership happened naturally. Their trust honours us and we are very happy to be able to contribute to Pokawa’s development ».