Two Canva alumni have successfully raised $4.15 million for their AI-powered recipe platform Clove, which plates up ideas of meal plans or what to do with the last remaining skerricks of food in your fridge and pantry at the end of a busy week.
Blackbird Ventures led the seed round and was joined by investors including US-based SHAKTI, as well as executives and founders from companies including Canva, Pexels and Google Maps.
Powered by a two-sided marketplace, the platform empowers users to take the hassle out of cooking by allowing everyday home cooks to browse personalised recipes, while giving recipe creators the opportunity to publish simple, high-quality video and text recipes with a global reach.
Instead of pandering to search engine requirements or social algorithms, Clove’s platform will prioritise recipe engagement based on cooking related quality signals.
"Cooking is one of the few things we all need to do, but few of us are taught to do it well," says Clove CEO Anna Guerrero, who co-founded the company this year with Sam Killin.
"Despite the universal need to make daily cooking decisions, there is a growing divide between busy cooks and the ease of access to quality cooking information.
"Rather than spending hours scrolling through recipes or figuring out how to make the most of what’s in your fridge, we’re incredibly excited to make cooking something millions of people feel confident about and look forward to."
Clove will be free for discovering recipes, with options to purchase cooking products and upgrade for premium recipes and AI-powered cooking tools, creating multiple earning opportunities for creators
"Many of the challenges with recipes today are directly related to the tools that creators have available to publish recipes, like blogs," says Kilin.
"They’re expensive, hard to use and require creators to work very hard to get discovered, which results in a poor experience for creators and home cooks alike.
"We’re excited about the technology that’s available to make both publishing and finding recipes effortless, and we’re looking forward to making it available."
Prior to founding Clove, Guerrero spent eight years at Canva, most recently as the company’s head of content and discovery, while Killin led Canva’s marketplace engineering teams. The pair met while building the design unicorn’s disruptive marketplace program which helped the company scale to more than 100 million users in 190 countries.
"Canva has proven time and time again that building an incredible user-centric product is a winning strategy," Guerrero explains.
"Democratising stock content at Canva was a hugely rewarding experience, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity and learnings, many of which will make discovering and cooking amazing recipes just as seamless and enjoyable."
Guerrero had the idea for the startup after leaving Canva to spend time in Italy, which included attending culinary school and working as a pasta chef in a Michelin restaurant.
The seed funding round will enable the company to accelerate its upcoming beta launch by continuing to grow its team which already consists of engineers and designers from companies including Amazon Groceries and Milkrun. The company aims to facilitate one billion recipes cooked around the world.
"Anna and Sam bring a unique combination of well-honed creative thinking, skill and ambition to Clove," says Blackbird partner Niki Scevak.
"They both have a deep understanding of what it takes to build a generational company with community at the heart, and we are proud and excited to back them."
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