Copenhagen-based private chefs platform ChefMe has announced its closing of €700,000 pre-seed funding round led by angel investor Bjørn Bruun and HumanAct VC. Rockstart and Moonraker Ventures also participated the round. ChefMe is an online network and marketplace where chefs and customers meet. The startup intends to use the funding for expanding into new markets, accordingly cementing its position as the Nordics’ leading private chefs platform. This capital will also make it possible for ChefMe to develop new features that ensure consistent high-quality service and training of its chefs.
ChefMe was founded in 2016 to make it simple to book a chef for private dinings. Chefs can create a profile and add menus that customers can easily and clearly explore and book. The chef then comes to the customer’s home and prepares the chosen menu as well as serves and presents it and cleans up afterwards. ChefMe today has more than 300 chefs spread across Denmark.
The European restaurants & foodservice market is expected to grow by US$ 144.3 bn between 2020-2026, progressing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.4% during the forecast period. In 2021, the global market size of catering services and food contractors was $187.64 bn. This figure was expected to increase to $275.90 bn in 2022. By 2026, the market is forecast to reach $378.39 bn at a CAGR of 8.2 percent. The European events catering industry was estimated at €18bn a couple of years ago.
After the pandemic, the restaurant industry was in high demand for chefs and is still struggling to find them. According to a survey by ChefMe, many chefs found new jobs in areas unrelated to cooking. As these chefs are searching out alternative means of practicing their careers, many have begun using ChefMe. ChefMe enables food lovers to hire a private chef for their next event with just a click of a button. With more than 600 chefs on the platform and close to 200 events per month, they are already Denmark’s leading marketplace for hiring private chefs.
“ChefMe focuses first and foremost on offering a great experience to our customers. When hosting a company event or a dinner, the most important thing for a great evening is presence, in other words being able to enjoy the event and to spend time with the guests. This is what ChefMe delivers: a great food experience for our customers and not having the hassle of running a business for our chefs. This funding round enables us to further strengthen our position as Denmark’s leading private chefs platform and to develop new features.” says Thomas Mamburay, CEO & Founder, ChefMe.
“I have been using ChefMe for some time now, and one of the things I really love about the service is the fact that ChefMe enables me to focus on what I’m good at, creating memorable food experience for hosts and their guests. ChefMe sources customers, handles payment, and makes sure the business side of things runs smoothly, so basically all the things I don’t have time to do.” comments Henrik Boserup, Danish TV chef & one of the chefs using ChefMe.
“I invested in ChefMe, because I love the idea of home dinners and I feel Thomas has the will to execute and create a great business. I always enjoy going for dinners in more private settings, where you can be more free and relaxed, enjoy good food and company. In my business life, I know how important it is to get closer and connect with colleagues and business partners, it always works better in private surroundings. This also creates a more belonging and family feeling.” states Bjorn Bruun, Investor.
“When we first invested in ChefMe in 2019, it was in large part thanks to Thomas’s entrepreneurial talent – he has tenacity, passion, and a vision for change. Over the years, Thomas has guided ChefMe through very tough waters such as the Covid-19 pandemic and he has mastered his talent in the process. We are delighted to continue with our investment in ChefMe, and to pursue our collaboration with Thomas and the team.” says Mark Durno, Managing Partner AgriFood, Rockstart.