HUNGRY announced it has raised an $8 million Series A funding round, co-led by Sands Capital Ventures and Motley Fool Ventures and including participation from a host of recognizable names in food, sports and entertainment.
The Rosslyn, Va.-based startup connecting independent chefs with office and event catering gigs online said it will use the funds to invest in its digital marketplace and logistics platform to continue expanding into the U.S., with its eyes set on Atlanta next. The company currently serves more than 400 companies in the Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia areas.
Among the list of investors is Marcy Venture Partners (MVP), the venture firm launched by Jay-Z last year in partnership with Walden Venture Capital managing director Larry Marcus and Roc Nation president Jay Brown. This is MVP’s first official investment.
“In Sands Capital and Motley Fool we have two of the top venture funds in the DC area (our hometown) co-leading the round, we have MVP investing and we have an incredible array of backers from the entertainment, sports and food industries,” Jeff Grass, HUNGRY CEO told Technical.ly. “HUNGRY’s core purpose is to enhance the lives of everyone we touch (chefs, clients, guests, team, local community) and we’re excited about the support we’ve received from so many who are aligned with our purpose and supportive of us building a fundamentally better way to provide business and event catering.”
Additional investors in the funding round include:
- Walter Robb, former Whole Foods co-CEO
- Usher, Grammy award-winning singer and songwriter
- Tom Colicchio, chef and owner of Crafted Hospitality and head judge/executive producer of Bravo’s Top Chef
- Ming Tsai, chef and owner of Blue Dragon
- Seth Goldman, Honest Tea founder and Beyond Meat executive chairman
- Dave Free, 2018 Grammy award-winning producer
- Ndamukong Suh, five-time NFL pro bowler
- Dan Simons, cofounder and owner of Founding Farmers Restaurant Group
- Daniel Kao, former general manager of DoorDash Canada
- Eric Kessler, founder of Arabella Advisors and board member of the James Beard Foundation
- James Madison Innovations, a startup investment organization affiliated with JMU
- Private Access Network (PAN), a platform for investing in venture-backed deals
Andrea Riggs, HUNGRY Marketing & PR representative, told Technical.ly that the company has plans to make new hires in Atlanta for sales representatives and catering captains while also working to onboard chefs to the platform there.
Since HUNGRY was founded in 2016 by Eman and Shy Pahlevani, it reports raising $12.5 million in funding. Currently, the average cost of a catered meal in D.C. is $18 or more, versus $12 with HUNGRY, the company states. This Series A funding round comes after the company acquired food catering startup Local Stove before launching in the Philly market. HUNGRY also came out on top as Technical.ly DC’s number one realLIST 2019 startup to watch this year.
“HUNGRY has built a brand that is defined by customer satisfaction. The team has cracked the code on a user-friendly marketplace that combines skilled chefs with an easy-to-use digital ordering experience,” Larry Marcus from MVP said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to be a part of the HUNGRY journey.”
Thanks to DCA Live for all the love! Our own Eman Pahlavani topped the list for 2019 Top Young Entrepreneurs in Washington, D.C. #YoungEntrepreneurs #DC #Startup #Leadership pic.twitter.com/F34kbOzJz7
— tryhungry (@TryHungry) April 1, 2019