Recipe-and-ingredient delivery service Chef’d ran an Indiegogo campaign last year, but that’s not the only way the team is funding its growth. The company is also announcing that it has just raised a new round of $5.25 million.
Founder and CEO Kyle Ransford has said that the point of the crowdfunding campaign was to recruit early users, not raise an enormous sum of money.
The new round didn’t come from a venture firm, either. Instead, it was led by Ransford and Chris Growney — Ransford said this gives the company more freedom to enter the food delivery market on its own terms.
“Because we’re not funded by traditional VCs, we haven’t been forced into that sort of subscription model,” he said.
In other words, instead of signing up for regular shipments of food, Chef’d customers can buy meals individually. And many of those meals are created in partnership with food publications and celebrity chefs. For example, through Chef’d, you can buy all the ingredients you need to follow this stir-fried mushroom recipe from the Vegetarian Times, or this rib eye recipe from Masterchef contest Becky Reams.
Ransford didn’t share total order or customer numbers, but he did say that 30 to 40 percent of customers are coming back for more, and “a good percentage” of those are people who liked a specific meal enough to order it again.
He also pointed to the fact that Chef’d can already deliver meals nationwide, although delivery days are a bit more limited if you’re not on the West Coast. The company plans to open a fulfillment center in Philadelphia — once that happens, Ransford said Chef’d will make East Coast deliveries on five days out of the week.
The company has now raised a total of $6.2 million.