Flavrs, a shoppable video application that combines premium food content and commerce, has officially launched in beta today after raising a $7 million seed funding from Andreessen Horowitz (A16Z), with additional participations from Wellington Access Ventures, Cercano Management, Progression Fund, and firstminute Capital, as well as culinary heavyweights such as Eric Ripert and Tom Colicchio.
Cofounders Alejandro Oropeza (CEO) and François Chu (CTO), who have both worked as executives at technology giants previously including Google
Oropeza’s upbringing in Mexico City in a family of restauranteurs and chefs helped him cultivate a passion for food at a young age, he wrote me via email. “I see food as an art form, and the ultimate universal human experience that draws people together and allows them to connect on a deeper level.”
But it was his later experience working at YouTube that made him realize the power of modern-day content creators. “Working closely with creators at YouTube was a great experience because it allowed me to witness firsthand the huge value these content creators bring, and I often acted as an internal advocate for creators to the leadership team at YouTube,” he said. “After I left, it became clear that I needed to get closer to my passion for food, and there was a particularly interesting opportunity given its size as a top content category and how underserved the needs of foodies and creators are.”
Kicking off its launch through an integration with Instacart, flavrs is the first platform where shoppers turn their intention into action, according to Oropeza. “Oftentimes, you see a delicious video in your feed, decide that’s what you want for dinner, and fall down the rabbit hole of researching similar recipes and sourcing the ingredients on other platforms and websites to get everything you need,” he said.
“With flavrs, you have all your delicious food content in one place, paired with smart recipes you can adjust by serving size, and an industry-first custom integration with Instacart that allows you to shop for the ingredients you need without having to jump from app to browser to grocery store. flavrs is the only app that has everything you need to watch, shop, and eat in one dedicated ecosystem.”
Connie Chan, General Partner at A16Z, believes short-form videos are great for discovery and motivation, but the next step beyond entertainment is taking action. In an exclusive quote provided to me via email, Chan said: “flavrs marries the best food content with smart recipe data and all the shopping, meal planning, and other food-specific functionalities needed to become a true destination for all things food.
“Similar to how Poshmark lured the second-hand fashion market away from eBay through targeted content, filters, and community, flavrs is building a new experience from the ground up that enables it to be a standalone platform for food.”
In addition to helping flavrs onboard a roster of renowned chefs and creators to its beta platform, the seed funding is also expected to bring new team members to the company, according to Oropeza. The ultimate goal is to connect the whole world through food.
“The key insight around our ‘watch, shop, eat’ motto is that as people see something delicious they generally want to do something about it. Ingredients are the first step, but there will be many more opportunities to connect people to and with food in the future,” Oropeza said. “As things scale, our vision is to become the category-defining food content and commerce experience for the 500 million-plus people around the world who live to eat.”