Why We Invested: Meez
We are excited to profile our investment in our newest portfolio company, Meez, a recipe management and collaboration platform for professional chefs that is revolutionizing the way work is done in kitchens around the world!
While recipes play an important role in determining a restaurant’s overall expenses, and often dictate how kitchens are operated, traditionally restaurants have had to manage years of important recipe information in manual and largely stagnant systems, ranging from Excel spreadsheets to physical notebooks. This leaves Chefs and other key kitchen staff reliant on manual processes that can be inconsistent and difficult to scale across an organization. As restaurants look to attract and retain top talent in an increasingly competitive labor market, there is a desperate need for technology in the kitchen that can empower staff to unify and streamline operations at the most granular level.
This is where our newest portfolio company, Meez, enters the picture. Meez is a purpose-built system of record platform for managing and optimizing culinary work at the recipe level. The Meez platform provides Chefs and other culinary professionals with an interactive workspace where recipes can be easily uploaded at scale (cutting the recipe ingestion process from months to hours relative to legacy systems and manual processes) and organized with Dropbox-like file management functionality. Once uploaded into Meez, recipes are enriched with unprecedented ingredient metadata from the platform’s proprietary database, while workspaces are amplified by intuitive UI/UX and real-time collaboration layers.
The real-time intersection between ingredient data, on-platform recipes, and operational workflows allows culinary professionals to improve overall yields, enhance best practices, identify allergens more effectively, assess nutritional impacts, and understand the economic impact of each ingredient on an overall dish in a consistent manner. Restaurants are simultaneously able to implement detailed inventory management and dish costing in real time due to Meez’s ability to integrate with existing back end frameworks. Once integrated within a restaurant, Meez becomes an invaluable part of the business as a source of truth for recipe management and collaboration and as a tool for scaling operations. In fact, most customers embed Meez into their daily operations via iPads in the kitchen, driving consumer social-like engagement within it’s offering.
Meez is a truly purpose-built solution, designed with a deep understanding of the pain points that have plagued professional chefs for years. This is in large part due to the deep domain expertise brought by the company’s Founder and CEO, Josh Sharkey, who spent many years in New York as a chef and restaurant owner before joining Aurify brands, a leading enterprise restaurant group, as Chief Operating Officer. Josh began incubating Meez within Aurify to build the kind of platform he had wanted as a Chef and spent the first 18 months at Meez running discovery, building an MVP, and populating one of the largest ingredient databases in the world.
The product was publicly launched in late 2020 and has already shown an ability to attract large customers with annual revenues in the hundreds of millions of dollars, convert its pipeline at both the SMB and enterprise levels, and quickly onboard customers while reliably expanding existing accounts. Demonstrating compelling early signs of product-market fit, Meez has grown 24x since its public launch, quickly onboarding nearly 750 customers, with 0% churn. Meez is well positioned to continue to gain significant market share as a first-mover in this space, and the opportunities for product expansions are endless, including consumer-facing recipe marketplaces and a ‘Recipe API’ that will unlock data-as-a-service for large vendors seeking recipe level insights.
Meez has ambitious growth expectations and the team envisions a future in which Meez is the restaurant technology of choice in at least one restaurant on any given street one happens to stroll down. Struck Capital is thrilled to be backing the Meez team as they pursue this goal, alongside an amazing array of co-investors including Craft Ventures, Relish Works, and Aurify Brands. We firmly believe that Meez will play a critical role in defining the next generation of culinary technology.