In March 2020, as the United Kingdom implemented a lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, HomeCooks emerged as a Facebook group to address the challenges faced by chefs and individuals reliant on in-person interactions. The group allowed chefs to showcase their menus, and users could place orders through the comments section. What started as a simple Facebook initiative quickly gained traction, and by April 2020, HomeCooks had over 500 members and had sold more than 100 meals.
This early success caught the attention of investors, including Deliveroo’s second employee, Leonard Picardo, who contributed to HomeCooks’ Pre-Seed funding round. Over time, HomeCooks transformed into a comprehensive marketplace, providing technological solutions for partner chefs, from meal preparation to storage and dispatch.
Led by serial entrepreneur Joshua Magidson, who previously founded eatstudent.co.uk (acquired by Just Eat), HomeCooks now offers a diverse menu of over 200 meals. The platform positions itself as a cost-effective alternative to mainstream food delivery services, delivering meals with superior nutritional value.
HomeCooks has announced a Seed investment round to fuel its expansion across the UK. The round is led by Speedinvest, and participants include Dutch Founders Fund, Ventures Together, and Atomico. The company aims to revolutionize the hospitality and food delivery industry by offering chefs a more profitable and sustainable approach.
Describing the current state of the food delivery industry, Magidson stated, “The hospitality industry is broken, and it’s our aim to rebuild it. Especially food delivery — it’s like a Victorian industry. Powered by low-paid labour, poor working conditions, and razor-thin margins driven by staff costs and food inflation, it’s nearly impossible to make a traditional food operation work. 60 percent of restaurants close in their first year.”
HomeCooks provides chefs with a streamlined platform where they can focus on cooking pre-prepared meals in bulk, minimizing overhead costs. The company aims to create the “Etsy of food,” emphasizing community and profitability for chefs. HomeCooks has served approximately 60,000 meals to over 7,000 customers this year and has witnessed remarkable growth, reporting a 600 percent increase compared to the previous year and 70 percent month-on-month growth from August to October.
To support its vision, HomeCooks has also opened up a community investment opportunity through a crowdfunding campaign on the Seedrs platform. With an initial commitment from Speedinvest, the company is on track to secure additional funding and community support.
HomeCooks’ unique approach to transforming the food delivery landscape, coupled with its commitment to profitability and community engagement, positions it as a promising player in the evolving world of online culinary experiences.