How often do you see a Facebook group raising funds to start with an online presence ? Well, in my personal experience, none before this one. Founded by a bunch of obsessed foodies, an Fb group by the name EatTreat, where users share their food-fantasies and experiences, has received as much as $350K to launch an online presence for itself.
The round, which includes as many as 15 investors from diversified backgrounds such as filmmakers, fashion journalists, restaurant owners (obviously), hotel owners, will be used byEatTreat to go for an online presence (eattreatonline.com) where stories converging upon food, fashion, art, design and celebrity life will be published.
The website intends to encourage community engagement and dialogue amongst foodies, and provide them with an aspirational experience of ‘gastronomic proportions’. It will further serve as a platform for home chefs and professionals in the food industry to promote themselves, with an aim to bridge the gap between consumers and providers.
Arjun Sawhney, a self-confessed foodie who founded this Facebook group, tells us,
It serves as a platform for home chefs and professionals in the food industry to promote themselves and aims to bridge the gap between consumers and providers. We have 18 employees on board now, including photographers and chefs.
And EatTreat has successfully garnered significant traction. It has about 50,000 member. The website (which is live now) will be an extension of its existing Facebook page. Sawhney is hoping that the website will encourage dialogue among foodies.
With the money raised in this round, the founder is planning to utilise it to bring the product to life, build infrastructure and make key hires of talent. The majority stake remains with the holding company. The company intends to raise another institutional funding round in 2016.
The platform will be operated by Delhi based Egg Communication Pvt. Ltd. As of the content on the website, there will be a large database of tested recipes and quality articles covering topics related to food.
Food based start-ups are currently hottest sector in India, spanning across multiple domains, including on-demand food, tablet reservation, restaurant offers, food delivery, etc. Some established players coming out of India’s sheer love of food, include Zomato, FoodPanda (backed by Rocket Internet) and others.