French startup Youmiam released a new version of its recipe sharing website and just announced that it has raised $410,000 (€300,000) from angel investors Patrick Robin (24h00), Thierry Petit (Showroomprivé) and Denis Chavanis (former managing director of Nestlé Waters). Youmiam makes it easy to browse, create and share recipes online.
It’s a full-fledged social network that is very reminiscent of YouTube or Soundcloud, because recipes are very shareable — you can embed your recipes on your blog or website. On the website itself, you get a profile with your recipes, recipes from others that you have shared (remiams). And of course, you can follow your favorite cooks and build a cooking social graph.
When you first load the site after signing up, you are presented with a beautiful grid of appetizers, entrées and desserts. It looks a lot like Pinterest, but with food and only food. If you click on a dish, you get the list of ingredients as well as the time required. A recipe is basically a slideshow — each slide represents a different step in the recipe.
If you want to create a recipe, you just have to fill out forms describing your recipe step by step. You can’t write long paragraphs of text, just short sentences. It makes recipes very readable.
Finally, one of the most important feature is certainly the search feature. If you have an idea but don’t know how to cook something, you can just search for it. Yet, you can also search by time, ingredients, types or keywords (#easy, #summer, #chocolate…) to try something new.
Youmiam’s take on the recipe website is quite different as many recipe websites bet everything on SEO and content farm strategies. With a good reward system, Youmiam could make creative cooks stand out and get better recipes than your average recipe website.
In 2013, the team of five participated in the 3-month Microsoft Ventures program in Paris (formerly Microsoft Spark). Part of the first batch, Youmiam is actually the first company to raise that much money. It also received $34,000 (€25,000) from 101projets, a project to foster youth entrepreneurship led by Xavier Niel (Free), Jacques-Antoine Granjon (Vente-privee.com) and Marc Simoncini (Meetic).
With today’s funding, the company plans to release an English version (coming in February), mobile apps, as well as a new recommendation engine. Now that the product is starting to look good and will target an international audience, the team will have to tackle a difficult problem: creating a flourishing community around recipes.