We’re excited to add another great marketplace to the V1 portfolio and announce an investment we made last November.
Umi Kitchen is home cooking delivered. The platform connects talented home cooks with families and individuals who crave a home-cooked meal but don’t have the skills or time to spend in the kitchen.
The platform empowers culinary entrepreneur, including full-time and part-time chefs, students, and stay-at-home parents who might be looking to share their passion and make additional income. With Umi, these chefs can focus on doing what they love (cooking great meals for people), while Umi takes care of all the logistics of running a business (marketing, packaging, delivery, fulfillment, etc.).
There are a lot of marketplaces out there to bring you groceries or baked goods and meals from a restaurant. But, Umi is all about home cooking. Umi is Arabic for “my mother,” which perfectly reflects their belief that a home-cooked meal made personally and with care, is the best meal out there.
We all strive to eat better…healthier and fresher, with more delicious and diverse food. But in many cases, we just don’t have the time to make it happen. And food has always been an important part of our culture, but somewhere along the way this has gotten lost with heavily processed and generic meals. That’s where Umi comes in: there’s a person and story behind every Umi meal.
We also love that Umi menus are data driven. They can fill local gaps in neighborhoods where certain food categories are missing, so if your neighborhood lacks a good Lebanese option, there’s hope. Umi can also dynamically control its offerings based on local demand.
Last, but definitely not least, we continue to be impressed by Umi’s founders. Khalil Tawil is a graduate of West Point and a veteran of three deployments to Afghanistan. Hallie Meyer is a serial home cook and food entrepreneur, having founded a catering company in partnership with the Yale Sustainable Farm. What makes these two different is that they have a huge passion for building communities through food. Early chefs and customers have absolutely loved their experiences with Umi.