ReciMe, a social sharing cooking app, has raised $500,000 in pre-Seed funding to help its users share and discover recipes from around the world.
The Alice Anderson Fund, LaunchVic’s female-focused co-investment fund, and Tractor Ventures cofounder Jodie Imam are among ReciMe’s backers, along with NZ VC Even Capital.
ReciMe began life as a lockdown project for sisters Christine and Ivy Nguyen, and their best friend Will Kent. It launched in November last year, and has since grown 50% month-on-month, to a community of more than 15,000 users.
The free ReciMe app allows anyone to share and discover recipes from their family, friends and community.
Its initial success saw the trio quit their full-time jobs at firms such as BCG earlier this year to focus on ReciMe and grow its team.
Christine Nguyen said the idea came about during Melbourne’s 2020 pandemic lockdowns, when they started a cooking community.
“For Ivy and me, our parents immigrated from Vietnam to Australia in the 90s, and their way of ensuring that we would never lose connection to their home country was by teaching us how to cook and appreciate Vietnamese food,” she said.
“During lockdown, we started writing our family’s recipes down for the first time – and when we wanted to start sharing those recipes with our community, we realised that our options for publication were limited.”
While Nguyen loves cookbooks, she points out they are not only expensive, but more complex to navigate for a younger generation, and while online solutions such as blogs, Instagram, and TikTok build communities, they aren’t designed for recipe sharing or consumption.
“The more we looked into it, the more confident we were that there is a real opportunity to completely reinvent the online cooking experience,” she said.
For first timers too
ReciMe is targeting two different audiences; the first are the less experienced cooks – those who frequently struggle with the question of ‘what do I cook for dinner tonight?’,
“This is an almost universal adult problem. Even as someone who is a somewhat competent cook, I still find myself needlessly agonising over this question,” Nguyen said.
“We’re here to solve that. As the platform’s recipes and user base grows, ReciMe will be able to personalise the discovery experience on the app to ensure each recipe recommendation is entirely tailored to a user’s preferences.”
Surprisingly ReciMe’s second target group are the recipe creators themselves, Nguyen said, from Michelin-starred chef, to enthusiastic home cook – “like our mum” – can publish their recipes.
“As our platform has grown, we’ve realised that we can take this one step further, and empower anyone with great recipes to also start monetising their content – just like other creator-focussed platforms such as SubStack for writers,” she said.
“There is a big tailwind right now in the creator economy where creators around the world are monetising directly from their fans. We’ve spoken to cooks who today find it very difficult to make a living – we’ve created a platform where they will be able to sell premium content directly to their biggest fans.”
“Despite starting in Australia, we now have cooks from over 100 countries posting their favourite recipes. We envision a world where from your home kitchen you can find recipes from great cooks anywhere around the world.”
LaunchVic CEO Dr Kate Cornick said she was pleased to see the $10 million angel sidecar fund back its 16th female-led startup.
“The Alice Anderson Fund by LaunchVic is proud to back ambitious women like Christine and Ivy,” she said
“The capital they have secured from top angel investors will help refine ReciMe’s product offer and propel their long-term growth – something LaunchVic is focused on across all aspects of the Victorian startup sector.”
Sarah Park, cofounder of Even Capital, New Zealand’s only female-founded, funded and focussed growth stage VC fund, was also impressed by the ambition of the Nguyen sisters and Kent.
“The opportunity to create connection across cultures, cuisines and communities through simple and engaging technology was hugely impressive to us, plus the commitment of Ivy, Christine and Will to put aside their professional careers to focus on ReciMe full time,” she said.
Jodie Imam echoed those sentiments.
“Their personal connection to this business and passion for how it ultimately connects families across generations was immediately powerful,” she said.
“Having built a B2C marketplace myself I know the drive, determination and magnetism will ultimately be the characteristics that create success.”
More on ReciMe here.