When Chefclub launched its 80-second video pastilles in 2016 to show recipes, few would have bet on its success. However, five years later, the young shoot founded by the three Lang brothers has crossed several stages revealing its impact on the foodtech sector. With one billion monthly views and 100 million followers on the various platforms and social networks where the start-up is present.
Clubchef thus confirms its model based on the creation of content and a community from which it is possible to generate income. Investors have also understood this, and a handful of them have just bet 14 million euros, part of which is in debt. In the first row, First Bridge Ventures and Seb Alliance (with the historical Korelya and Aglaé). The first is co-founded by Hong Kong billionaire Adrian Cheng; the second is the armed branch of the French manufacturer of small household appliances.
China in the sights
This Franco-Hong Kong alliance confirms some of Chefclub’s priorities for the coming years. After setting foot in China two years ago, the video content creator now claims more than 50 million views there each month. During this same period, the tricolor nugget and Seb joined forces to launch a range of cosigned products which includes around fifty references.
However, investing in his VC vehicle does not mean a future acquisition, assures Thomas Lang, co-founder of Chefclub, for whom the fundraising process was not easy. “We were to enter a roadshow the day before the announcement of the first containment in March 2020. We stopped the process, but a month later, the funds began to contact us. Our cash flow was tight, and luckily we were able to count on state aid ”, he recounts.
Chefclub has put part of its workforce on short-time work, and has taken out a loan guaranteed by the State (PGE) of one million euros allowing it to hold out until the recent operation.
It is also in this particular context that the start-up has launched new products, such as its box dedicated to children. “We all wanted to occupy our children away from screens, and we created it to allow them to cook in a fun way”, explains the entrepreneur. Building on the success, around ten references were created which generated a total turnover of 150,000 euros in 2020.
Far from stopping there, Chefclub wants to take advantage of the surge in e-commerce to offer food products directly to his community. For example, it is launching a range of herbs and spices with a single-use model and dedicated recipes.
To impose oneself in the United States
For Chefclub, the hyper-growth of income generated via the major social networks is one of the novelties revealed by the year which has just ended. In search of content creators capable of attracting large numbers of people, they offer a model for sharing the advertising revenue generated.
Thus, Facebook, Snap and YouTube donated a half a million euros at Chefclub in 2020, details Thomas Lang: “This is where it gets interesting. When manufacturers spend millions to sell their products through TV advertising, we are paid to make videos where we talk about our products. “ In each of her videos, the young shoot hides the products used for her recipes to better promote her own, including the recipe books that allowed her to generate sales when she started out.
To take the next step, and imagine a turnover of several tens of millions of euros (5 million in 2019 and less than 10 in 2020), Chefclub must accelerate in the United States. It reached 50 million people there last December, but without selling any products there. This is the whole purpose of the funds gleaned from this new round of financing.
CHEFCLUB IN FIGURES
>> 1 billion views are counted each month by Chefclub’s recipe videos.
>> 100 million followers follow the start-up’s accounts on various social networks.
>> 700,000 self-published cookbooks have been sold by Chefclub since its inception.