An all-female London-based startup that brings affordable private chefs to your doorstep has raised $ 1.5million (£ 1.09million) in seed funding thanks to a wave of serial investors from big names to fuel its expansion.
Launched at the end of 2019 by former Barclays traders Heinin Zhang and Siddhi Mittal, the platform aims to ‘democratize access to high-end private chefs’ so that Londoners can book an experience hitherto reserved for elites for special occasions at home.
During the time needed to book a restaurant, customers can choose a date and tailor-made menu and book with a licensed chef for as little as £ 17 per person.
YHANGRY angel investors include Passion Capital, former Tech Nation president Eileen Burbidge, who was one of the early backers of online banking Monzo. Other backers include Made in Chelsea star Ollie Locke and Index Ventures partner Martin Mignot, who has invested in companies such as the scooter company Bird.
Zhang and Mittal met at Barclays and their extremely busy careers took away the joys of a home cooked meal. They wanted to rediscover the joys of dining for the time-poor millennial generation and provide a hassle-free private chef option from the Deliveroo era.
Menus vary by cuisines, can be personalized, and may even have a pop culture theme, with earlier menus based on the Netflix hit The Queen’s Gambit.
The app currently has around 130 independent skilled chefs and has served around 7,000 Londoners. The duo will use the new capital to double their team size by the end of the year and further develop YHANGRY technology and services across the UK, before targeting an international deployment.
Mittal said she believes Covid trends will benefit the start-up, even with the return of restaurants, as Londoners move to larger, more suburban homes encourage eating at home.
She said receiving investor support was “brilliant,” adding, “Our round has been oversubscribed. We have the support of key venture capital angels as well as many startup founders and YHANGRY clients who had experienced the platform and wanted to support us.
Locke said, “Finally, a platform that makes booking a private chef as easy as ordering an Uber. When I first tried YHANGRY, I loved the ability to tailor-make a menu and instantly book dinner, leaving me free to finally meet up with friends and enjoy an amazing evening. I didn’t even have to worry about cleaning.
“I knew straight away that I had to get involved in the company. I am delighted to support Siddhi and Heinin on this journey and for more people to have the chance to have such an amazing experience at home.