Business Bio

Founded in 2004, Abokado is London’s leading healthy grab-and-go chain, well known across the city for its fresh sushi, salads, bagel breakfasts and award-winning coffee.

Loan Amount




Funding Need

Growth finance, Refinance & Working capital


Food and Drink

Their Journey

London’s leading healthy grab-and-go chain Abokado has announced record profits for 2017 and has secured a new funding line from ThinCats of more than £3m to support its continued ambitious growth. The healthy eating brand, well known across the city for its fresh sushi, salads, bagel breakfasts and award-winning coffee, has reported that its EBITDA has increased by almost 50% year on year.

Abokado’s Founder and CEO Mark Lilley said: “We are excited to have embarked on a new partnership with ThinCats. This will continue to fuel our next phase of growth, enabling us to expand our store footprint by capitalising on a weakening commercial property market, invest further in our senior management and in our brand to spread our ‘feel great’ vision far and wide.”

“Working with ThinCats has been a great experience. The timing from pressing the button to delivery was very fast and ThinCats delivered commercially exactly what was agreed. The ability to have an open and informal dialogue with credit and the senior decision-makers early on was excellent, something that we would never have been able to do with the traditional providers and their ivory tower approach.”

Mark continued: “I’m immensely proud of my team in delivering these results in the toughest market conditions we’ve experienced since we launched Abokado in 2004. Our formula is simple. Everything we do revolves around bringing Londoners the freshest and healthiest options for breakfast and lunch, and it’s great to get the thumbs up from our customers. It’s also worth noting that our staff retention has improved over this period, as our investment in the Abokado family continues to pay dividends.”

Dave Sherrington business originator, London and South at ThinCats commented: “We are thrilled to support Mark and Lindsay Lilley and their passionate and hard-working team in their plans to continue growing the business by doing what they have always done incredibly well – continually focusing on quality, service and value.”

“We love funding growing and ambitious businesses that have identified gaps in the market and we are delighted to be able to play our part in such an exciting retail success story. The hands-on approach of our combined origination and credit team at ThinCats has not only enabled this particular transaction but has provided a platform for a strong partnership going forward.”


ThinCats is a real wake up call to the High Street lenders. Their streamlined process makes the traditional banks look very outdated and not fit for purpose. There are some very profitable, growing businesses in the hospitality and food and beverage space and it has become clear that banks need to evolve faster and change their appetite to risk for this sector or miss out on the excellent opportunities that are otherwise being captured by alternative finance companies such as ThinCats.

Mark Lilley, Founder and CEO

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