CookUnity, Chef to Consumer Platform, Raises $15 Million Series A

By Bruce Harpham Wednesday, January 27, 2021

CookUnity, a platform that connects chefs to consumers, has raised $15.5 million in funding from investors. The startup company lets consumers order fresh meals directly from chefs and have those meals delivered. The business started in New York City, and it has since expanded to Michigan, Maine, Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina, New Hampshire, and other locations.

Chef preparing food for customer.

The Venture Capital Firms Growing CookUnity

The leading investors in the startup company now include Fuel Venture Capital and IDC Ventures. In total, the food service company has raised over $23 million in funding. Founded in 2017 in Miami, Fuel Venture Capital is a newer player in the startup investing world. The firm's portfolio of startups includes Boatsetter (a boat rental platform), Taxfyle (tax filing services for individuals and companies), and Tradeshift (an invoice automation platform used by more than 1.5 million companies).

The Pandemic Fuels CookUnity and Business Growth

Many restaurants have lost business since the pandemic began due to public health restrictions. In December 2020, Bloomberg reported that over 100,000 American restaurants closed in 2020. As a result, CookUnity’s business gives chefs an alternative way to earn a living that does not depend on restaurants reopening.

Esther Choi, a Brooklyn-based chef, has used CookUnity to sustain her business. She told Pulse2 that, "CookUnity has been integral in allowing me to hire back valuable team members and expand my reach beyond the physical constraints of our restaurant."

Choi, who owns mŏkbar and Mŏkbar Brooklyn, offers various meals on the Cook Unity platform. Current meals offered include Beef Bibimbap, Bulgogi Ramen, Chicken Noodle Salad, and Gochujang Chicken.

How CookUnity Competes With DoorDash and UberEats

On one level, CookUnity competes against food delivery services like DoorDash and UberEats. However, this startup is different because it does not involve restaurants. Instead, customers sign up to receive meals from a specific chef.

CookUnity is also investing in physical infrastructure for chefs. The company currently has a kitchen in Williamsburg. Additionally, the startup company also signed up 12 new chefs over the past year and plans to recruit more than one hundred and fifty new chefs by 2022.

The market has been booming for delivery services, and CookUnity is trying to capitalize on the current market’s momentum. The business’s competitor DoorDash alone is no stranger to much of this success seen by their recent IPO numbers, which indicate that CookUnity is in the “right place at the right time.”

CookUnity’s business model encourages customers to sign up for weekly service. As a result, the startup company may find it easier to build a sustainable business with predictable revenue. Meals ordered through the service start at $10.49 per prepared meal, and each meal is placed into a CookUnity container to stay fresh for approximately four to seven days.

About the Author


Headshot for author Bruce Harpham

Bruce Harpham is an author and marketing consultant based in Canada. His first book "Project Managers At Work" shared real-world success lessons from NASA, Google, and other organizations. His articles have been published in CIO.com, InfoWorld, Canadian Business, and other organizations. Visit BruceHarpham.com for articles, interviews with tech leaders, and updates on future books.

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