Toronto-based Spatula Foods has raised $1.87 million CAD ($1.5 million USD) in pre-seed funding, and nabbed the support of some meal kit delivery leaders to bring high-quality frozen meals to Canada.
With a list of investors that includes senior executives from HelloFresh and Goodfood, Spatula has announced the launch of its subscription service in Toronto. The startup is looking to tackle what CEO Ian Weng sees as “a new category” in the country’s food service space.
“There’s nothing like Spatula on the market in Canada.”
– CEO Ian Weng
Spatula’s March pre-seed round, which came in the form of a simple agreement for future equity (SAFE), was led by Global Founders Capital, with participation from Panache Ventures, and Loyal VC. Spatula told BetaKit that a former regional co-CEO of HelloFresh United States also participated in the round alongside angels from Goodfood, though declined to disclose names.
Prior to launching Spatula, Weng spent about three and a half years working at Uber Eats Canada, where he rose to the position of head of Canadian strategy for the restaurant delivery app. In July 2021, he teamed up with Michelin-trained chef and Top Chef Canada finalist Wallace Wong to co-found Spatula.
In addition to his chef experience, Wong has developed a significant audience on TikTok, where over 668,000 users follow his food advice and recipes. At Spatula, Wong heads up culinary operations, which include recipe development.
The idea for Spatula struck Weng last year while he was studying for his MBA at France-based business school INSEAD. After noticing what food giant Picard Surgelés was doing in France providing flash-frozen gourmet meals, Weng saw an “untapped market” to do the same in Canada.
Spatula wants to carve out its own slice of the home food services market from other meal kit services, like Goodfood and restaurant delivery apps like Uber Eats.
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“There’s nothing like Spatula on the market in Canada,” claims Weng. “We deliver a delicious, restaurant-worthy dinner solution with a 10-minute promise that’s faster than any meal kit or delivery app.”
Amid a competitive environment, Weng claims that what differentiates Spatula is its quality, speed, and cost—the startup promises that all of its frozen meals, which cost about $12 apiece, will be ready-to-eat in 10 minutes or less. This, the CEO says, sets Spatula apart from restaurant app and meal kit competitors that typically cost more and require more prep or delivery time.
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“Spatula is setting a new benchmark for at-home meal solutions by offering an unparalleled combination of quality, taste, and convenience,” said Global Founders Capital Partner Alex McIsaac.
To fuel its growth, Spatula is betting on influencer chefs, like Wong, to tap into their existing network of followers, and offer them another revenue opportunity.
“We thought one of the best ways to do this is really bringing on these culinary artists who have existing great followers and [a] following to help us share that message,” said Weng.
The company hopes to roll out its at-home meal solution nationwide at a later date.
Feature image courtesy Spatula.