The Hamburg-based founders Malte Steiert and Finn Fahrenkrug ventured into “The Lion’s Den” on VOX TV last last autumn to pitch their business idea. Their social food network allows users to discover and share restaurants and dishes. Like Tinder, users swipe restaurants to the right or left, depending on their taste. Once a favourite has been selected, a table can be reserved via the app, the shortest route can be displayed or food ordered.
At the time, the “lion” Carsten Maschmeyer sensed his prey and made the young founders an offer they could not refuse – a cash injection of EUR 450,000 in return for a 31.6 per cent share of the company. Maschmeyer, who owns an investment company in San Francisco, among others, had set himself the goal of helping the founders launch on the U.S. market. But how has the social-gastro app fared in the meantime?
Successful expansion into U.S.
Less than a year later, Foodguide’s expansion plans have become concrete and it now has over 50,000 users in the United States. The start-up doubled its team a few months after the show and has extended its reach on the European market.
Even before their legendary TV pitch, the two founders had favoured Maschmeyer as investor. And their instinct has proven right. Steiert, CEO of Foodguide, remarked: “Everything worked out beautifully after concluding the deal. The co-operation with Carsten Maschmeyer and his team is going very well. Almost weekly, we are in talks with our investment manager and every few weeks with Maschmeyer himself. We also meet several times a year with some portfolios for internal talks.” He added: “We were able to expand our development team with the cash injection and this year we have completed a software especially for the catering trade.”
Latest technology targeting restaurateurs
The food start-up is already setting its sights on other goals. “We are currently working hard to bring our latest development onto the market. It is a software that allows restaurateurs to manage their reputation on all known evaluation platforms,” said Steiert. The start-up hopes to gain important insights for customer relationship management (CRM) from this software.