People everywhere are drawn to food and everything about it, and what’s not to love? The pictures, the recipes, the histories, the variety. It’s a category that just doesn’t seem to have an expiration date.
FeedMe is a mobile-first startup where food – and food lovers everywhere – are the stars and everyone shares. And let’s face it: we all eat. We all have something to say – or share – when it comes to food.
And now there’s a platform for it. In fact, you can download the app here.
Founder and CEO (and professional chef) Oron Franco dishes up the details.
Tell us about the service.
In FeedMe, we are building a mobile-first ecosystem for influencers and consumers everywhere to share, discover and grow the largest food and lifestyle UGC network.We have created easy to use tools to capture food moments inspired by real life experiences. Everyone has a story to tell and we’ve created a seamless experience to capture and share these incredible moments around food. This creates a massive opportunity for brands to reach highly targeted customer segments based on first-party data we’re collecting. Our vision is to map these food and data connections into visual stories and to create a new form of media that connects people, locations, interests, ingredients, moments and history. This is how we see the real food network of the 21st century.
How is it different?
Most food media platforms focus on editorial content from a curated group of people,turning consumers into passive bystanders. Our focus is to put users in the center, encourage them to take actions and give an equal opportunity to standout and shine. In our vertical, many are still trying to mimic the TV concept focusing only on a curated group of contributors.
Successful platforms realized that users want a stage to voice their personality and interest, so they’ve created the tools and gave users the freedom to do so. This is especially true in the food space. Food is a daily basic commodity that people love to talk about, express their opinions on,and exchange information about. We’re giving users a platform and tools to express themselves and their lifestyle freely, letting the community crown their own influencers.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
Food & Beverage brands are getting stronger ROI from mobile and online media and therefore are shifting their marketing budgets towards Digital Advertising. Food & Beverage digital ad spending is forecasted to increase 240%, to $22.5B by 2018. Unilever is now investing 20% of its entire media spend on digital platforms and Kraft Foods is shifting 50% of its ad spending budget to digital by 2016.
What is the business model?
FeedMe creates an opportunity for brands and advertisers to reach consumers at their moment of passion, when they are looking for recipes, capturing a memorable food experience at a restaurant or searching out new and exciting chefs. Leveraging the power of influencers and matching offers to user profiles creates an opportunity that exposes brands to highly targeted, more affluent and product-receptive consumers resulting in higher ROIs and better brand positioning.
What’s the most popular food or recipe group people search for, that you’ve noticed so far?
Pasta, chicken and kale.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
We are working on a few interesting partnerships, the main one being with a big WebTV production company to produce a show featuring our users and influencers. FeedMe is the second screen for additional content and behind the scenes interaction with the participants. Viewers will be able to vote and support their favorite cast members and be actively engaged as the show unfolds. The show is expected to reach 50M eyeballs through the various distribution channels and we are very excited about this project. Regardless of the business opportunities ahead, this is a pretty cool thing to do.
If you could be put in touch with one investor in the New York community who would it be and why?
There are many great investors and VCs in New York, especially in the digital media and content industry. VCs like Highline Ventures, Quotidian Ventures and of course Hearst Ventures can bring significant added value to startups in our space.
Why did you launch in New York?
New York is the culinary capital of the world and the media capital of the US. I couldn’t think of a better place. Plus, it’s the greatest city in the world.
What are your favorite places in New York to shop for raw ingredients?
Well, that depends what you want to buy. The Union Square farmers market is great. Esposito Meat Market, The lobster Place in Chelsea Market and I can go on and on… Like I said, the greatest city in the world.