people come together around the dinner table and their favorite food, but for umamikart Andrea Xu, founder and CEO, found it wasn’t always easy to find ingredients to make the foods she eats with her family.
Xu’s parents are Chinese, but moved to Spain, opening his own Chinese restaurant. She recalls grocery stores that don’t have the sauces, thin-cut meat cuts and vegetables typically found in Asian cuisine. Even when she moved to America for college, she and her friends would chat about what wasn’t available in an aisle of a grocery store devoted to Asian cooking.
“Food has been a way of connecting back to the identity, but I was having difficulty accessing the foods that are prevalent in my household,” she told Nerdshala. “In the US, 29 million Chinese are American, yet there is still a barrier to access to products.”
With most things available for delivery these days, Xu decided to test out with Asian ingredients. In March, she and Will Nichols, previously with FJ Labs, launched Umamicart, an online Asian grocer and delivery service that offers both a curated and comprehensive selection of traditional and creative Asian products.
Umamicart aims to be a one-stop shop for home cooks, including key product and pantry essentials, recipe inspiration, and occasion-specific kits for cooking activities such as Holiday Roast Duck, DIY Sushi Night, Hotpot and Dumpling Making.
Orders can be placed through the company’s website — and soon a mobile app — with same-day delivery for New York City customers, or next day at zip codes in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Delaware Delivery. Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts and Washington, DC area.
Today, the company announced $13 million in seed capital co-led by M and FJ Labs, with participation from Picus Capital, Starting Line, Golden Ventures, First Minute Capital and Goldhouse Ventures. This raised the company’s total funding to $7 million, including a $1 million seed round.
Brent Murrie, an investor in M13, was introduced to Xu by FJ Labs, and said Umamikart was in line with the type of consumer technology his firm typically invests in given the digitization of food. M13 has invested in similar companies such as Thrive Market and Chef.
“The combination of Andrea and Will as co-founders is one of the best markets I’ve seen this year,” Muri said. “Andrea has learned from her parents and maintained a lot of relationships with food distributors, while Will will lead Instacart’s New York City market, so he knows how to grow the grocery business. All of these have helped him.” Separated.”
He said grocers expect half of the US population Make at least one digital grocery purchase Next year. However, the digitization of grocery stores is not the same for everyone, citing the Asian market being largely offline, providing space for companies like Umamikart to offer a curated selection of food with good customer experience.
The new capital will enable the company to expand its delivery range, grow its team, and add product catalogs and geographic service regions as Umamikart sees increasing customer demand. Xu wants to provide more diverse offerings for Southeast Asian cuisine and increase the number of dishes available to users.
“We’re also seeing a lot of interest from people who didn’t grow up eating Asian food, but have come to enjoy and cook it,” he said.
NS global food delivery market According to a report by ResearchAndMarkets.com, that was estimated to be around $111 billion last year, which is projected to rise to $154 billion in 2023. Overall interest in cooking and eating ethnic food continues to grow. US retail sale of ethnic foods $12.5 billion in 2018, up from $11 billion in 2013, while Annual Expenses at Chinese Restaurants in the US It was estimated to be just over $15 billion in 2020.
Umamikart has seen 313% quarter-on-quarter web traffic growth since its launch in March, growing from 20% to 30% month on month and now has more than 3,000 products.
Xu said the pandemic has shown some important insights that when cooking with Asian cuisine, people prefer fresh products, but if they are not accessible, it hinders cooking and people try to find swaps. Huh.
“Consumers are rejecting what’s in the international or ethnic aisle and want to source better products and brands,” he said. “We value it, so when they come to Umamikart, they know that what we put on our shelves is a verified product, a tried-and-true staple or the best new brands we were able to scout. “