HomeCooks, an online marketplace for independent chefs to sell ready-made meals to consumers, has secured $3.1m (£2.45m) in equity funding to continue its expansion across the UK.
Joshua Magidson founded HomeCooks in 2020. Chefs or small businesses can cook pre-prepared meals in bulk and list them on HomeCooks’ marketplace. HomeCooks collects, freezes and delivers the meals.
Magidson says this can reduce overheads for chefs and claims it’s “one of the most profitable things they can do in the entire industry”.
“The hospitality industry is broken and it’s our aim to rebuild it,” said Magidson. “Especially food delivery – it’s like a Victorian industry.
“Powered by low-paid labour, poor working conditions, and razor-thin margins driven by staff costs and food inflation, it’s nearly impossible to make a traditional food operation work.”
HomeCooks is aiming to stand out in a crowded home delivery meal market – which includes the likes of HelloFresh and Gousto – by focusing on “food creators”.
The startup says it has over 200 meals available on its platform, which it is positioning as the “Etsy of food”.
Over the last year, it has sold 60,000 meals to over 7,000 customers, which Magidson said means the company is “600% up on last year”.
Magidson previously created the online takeout marketplace EatStudent, which was later acquired by Just Eat.
The seed round was led by early-stage venture capital firm Speedinvest. Additional investors include the Dutch Founders Fund (DFF) and Just Eat founder Lauren Groenendijk). Love Ventures, Rianta, and several UK angels from the Ventures Together Consortium also provided capital.
“HomeCooks is more than just a marketplace – it has the ability to streamline the entire process for chefs and providing consumers with a diverse range of high-quality, affordable meals,” said Mathias Ockenfels, lead partner on Speedinvest’s marketplaces and consumer team.
“We believe in HomeCooks’ potential to transform the landscape of food delivery and are excited to be part of their journey.”
HomeCooks is separately crowdfunding on Seedrs, which has currently raised £1.3m out of its target of £1.37m.
The startup has a pre-money valuation of £7.3m, according to Seedrs.