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  • Hugo Walker

"The Etsy for food": How HomeCooks marries independent chefs with large-scale distribution

HomeCooks, an online marketplace connecting independent chefs with consumers to sell ready-made meals, has successfully secured £2.45 million ($3.1 million) in equity funding, marking a crucial step in its ongoing expansion across the UK.

Founded by food tech entrepreneur Joshua Magidson in 2020, HomeCooks serves as a marketplace where chefs and small businesses can prepare meals in bulk, list them on the platform, and have HomeCooks handle the collection, freezing, and delivery processes. The combination of small-scale cooking with large-scale freezing, storage and distribution helps to support independent chefs while cutting down the overheads usually associated with small food businesses.

In this sense, HomeCooks presents itself as the "Etsy of food" — bringing independent chefs with the freedom to create the meals they love best, together with the efficiency and profile of a large platform. The "food creators" of the platform provide over 200 meals, with the personal touch of the meals working as a key differentiator between HomeCooks and market-leading rivals such as HelloFresh and Gousto. 

Magidson wants to redefine and modernise our current hospitality industry. “The hospitality industry is broken and it’s our aim to rebuild it. Especially food delivery – it’s like a Victorian industry,” he commented, “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.”

Over the past year, HomeCooks has experienced notable growth, selling 60,000 meals to more than 7,000 customers, marking a substantial 600% increase in output compared to the previous year.

HomeCooks has recently secured seed investment. Early-stage venture capital firm Speedinvest spearheaded the recent seed funding round. Other contributors include the Dutch Founders Fund (DFF), Lauren Groenendijk (founder of Just Eat), Love Ventures, Rianta, and various UK angels associated with the Ventures Together Consortium.

“HomeCooks is more than just a marketplace — it has the ability to streamline the entire process for chefs and provide 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.”

Currently, HomeCooks is engaged in a crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs, with £1.3 million raised out of its £1.37 million target.

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