Vision and Grit: The Story of Why We Invested in Homemade
I’m really excited to share the story of our latest investment, Homemade. This is a vision worth fighting for that we’ve been looking to back for three years and we’ve finally found the right team with the passion, perseverance and execution plan to actually bring this new idea into the world. Homemade lets any cook — from amateur to veteran chef — sell home cooked meals in a professional, simple way. The Homemade platform provides everything the cook needs to build a personal following and brand, including marketing, logistics, scheduling, and payment features — while ensuring that people will cook and eat homemade food for generations to come. It will enable the stay-at-home parent, the amateur cook, or the part-time or professional chef to share their talents and passions with their neighbors while bringing in some extra money. In some cases, it will launch new careers entirely. Homemade will build community in the most natural of ways: through food. Imagine a world with Homemade at scale — where you launch the app to see who’s selling amazing home-cooked food around you. You can pick up your home-cooked dinner on your way home from work, or have it delivered to you, at takeout prices. Imagine a world where low and middle-income families are cooking meals at home and selling extra portions to their neighbors. At scale, Homemade creates a new economy, brings together community, and possibly even makes a dent in the obesity and diabetes epidemics through making healthier, more natural foods available to communities that, today, rely on fast-food alternatives. Not only do we love the vision, but Homemade is also in line with some massive food trends in the US, as covered in this recent article from the Washington Post. First, almost two thirds of households are supported by two working parents today. Second, millennials aren’t cooking at home — and they also really, really don’t want to do dishes. These trends massively impact the frequency of home-cooked meals — without Homemade, it’s quite possible that home-cooked food would sadly be a thing of the past.
There’s also an interesting backstory to this investment. I first met Nick and Mike, the founders of Homemade, a year and a half ago when I was in New York visiting Techstars. I discussed some of the ideas that we were looking to fund with the team, and one such idea was what I called “Airbnb for food.” Nick and Mike had a very similar idea and happened to be at the Techstars office that day. We had a great first meeting, but we didn’t fund them at the time. Not only did we not fund them, but they were also initially rejected from the Techstars program. So, what did they do? They opened up their own café in NY to learn more about the industry, and continued to work on their own to launch Homemade, fully bootstrapped. That is the type of grit we love to see in our founders. Techstars was similarly impressed with their persistence, and they were accepted into the next batch. Fortunately, we reconnected with the team about 18 months later when they launched their product and are delighted to lead their Seed round. We’ll be working closely with Nick and Mike to build out their team and product and will do everything in our power to help them accomplish their big vision worth fighting for. Join the Homemade revolution: download the app to see who’s cooking in your community today.