Born out of frustration with bland oven-ready meals, Sydney-based ChefPrep has raised $3 million to grow its platform that delivers best-selling dishes from award-winning restaurants directly to customers.
Led by alternative investment firm Artesian Ventures and Berlin-based Global Founders Capital, the seed round comes less than a year after the business secured $1.25 million from angel investors.
Unimpressed by the taste, quality and convenience of meal kits, mass-produced microwave meals and “finish at home” delivery services, ChefPrep offers ready-made, restaurant-standard meals that simply need to be heated once delivered to the customer's doorstep.
Currently only available to customers based in Sydney, the platform sells more than 100 products from more than 25 restaurant partners and vendors, including Butter Sydney, Salt Meats Cheese, Delhi “O” Delhi, Bellevue Cottage and Bourke Street Bakery.
“In 2022, our goal is to expand our customer base and product range, launching delivery across Australia. In the longer term, our mission is to build a global marketplace that empowers food makers to embrace e-commerce as a complementary revenue stream to their in house offering, leveraging their existing resources and industry expertise,” ChefPrep co-founder and CEO Elle Curran said.
“Within the next five years, we plan to launch in overseas markets, democratising access to quality food experiences by connecting food lovers with the best global food makers, no matter where they live.”
ChefPrep will use the funds to grow its product range and network of restaurants and artisan food producers, with plans to expand its delivery zones in New South Wales over the next six months.
With interstate expansion on its horizon, the capital will support investment in industry-leading technologies and bolster ChefPrep's workforce - set to double by the end of 2022 - and builds on double-digit month-on-month growth since launching last May.
“We are fortunate to have extremely supportive investors. Our angel and seed investors bring deep industry knowledge and expertise, which we have been able to utilise to accelerate our growth and ability to scale,” said ChefPrep co-founder and CEO Josh Abulafia, previously a co-founder at San Francisco-based tech company Fast.
“We are very grateful to Artesian, who has supported us since our inception, and we are excited to have Global Founders Capital join us on the journey - they have been true partners and are aligned with our vision of growing into a global platform.”
Global Founders Capital Partner Asia Pacific, Melvin Hade said the value proposition of ChefPrep was clear.
"We at GFC are excited to back Josh and Elle in building ChefPrep as we see that the next food commerce trend in Australia would be ready-made, premium, restaurant-quality meals that Australians can enjoy at the comfort of their homes,” Hade said.
“The value proposition of ChefPrep is clearly a win-win for all stakeholders, and the organic progress has been very encouraging in recent months.
“More than anything, we are excited to back serial entrepreneurs like Josh and Elle to shape the food commerce space in Australia.”
Artesian Venture Partners VC portfolio manager Rohan Gray said he was delighted to continue to back ChefPrep.
"We are excited by the company's traction to date and feel that Josh and Elle are the perfect team to build out this marketplace,” Gray said.
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