PlateJoy, the meal-kit delivery startup, has raised $1.7 million allowing it to explore bigger markets and compete more effectively with competitors like Blue Apron.
The meal-delivery sector is saturated with companies offering similar or the same product to PlateJoy. Blue Apron and Plated are the more prominent companies with a recipe delivery service where the ingredients are dropped off at the customer’s home and they do the rest. PlateJoy has accessed seed funding from investors that include Foundation Capital, Sherpa Ventures, HealthBox, 500 Startups, VaynerRSE, Bassett Investments, Gotham Gal Ventures’ Joanne Wilson and celebrity investor Jared Leto.
Rodolfo Gonzalez dismissed the threat of an already crowded sector because of PlateJoy’s focus on healthy products. He said, “It’s mostly irrelevant … there are a lot of food startups but people eat four to five times a day. And if you ask most CEOs, they are not eating healthy enough. They just aren’t.”
PlateJoy founder Christina Bognet was inspired by her weight loss after graduating from MIT. It was the discovery of cooking healthy meals at home that prompted PlateJoy. She said, “I was going to be a doctor but I thought I could do something like this for others”.
PlateJoy is moving into the meal-delivery market with the intention of taking on companies like Blue Apron by using the healthier option as a draw. Despite this Blue Apron delivers over 2 million meals a month. The company has $58 million in the bank and $60 million revenue run rate per year, which significantly outnumbers PlateJoy.
The PlateJoy approach includes a “personalization process” designed to customize meals according to weight loss and lifestyle goals. The customer inputs their details such as height, weight, food preferences and how much they want to lose, allowing PlateJoy to create custom meals and portion sizes for them. The funding PlateJoy has secured will go towards expanding this service.
In addition, PlateJoy intends to expand its development, marketing and design departments to further evolve its model.
Bognet added, “When you ask people whether or not they’re happy with the way they’re eating, almost everyone says no. Through our extensive data collection, we’re coming to understand what causes that gap on a personal level, and what it takes to fill it”.