Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Chef Dovunque raises €1.2 million from Vertis Venture and three Angel Investors

Benevento, 21st October 2013 - Chef Dovunque, an Italian start-up picking up homemade and biological ingredients for Italian pasta dishes, by packing and distributing them in pre-measured kits, closed an investment deal worth €1.2 million with Vertis Venture, the venture capital fund of Vertis Sgr, and three angel investors, including WithFouders, a private holding company specialized in seed investments (start up without turnover). 
Chef Dovunque - headquarter in the industrial area of the municipality of Pago Veiano (Benevento's province) and with a commercial and marketing office in Milan - was born from the intuition of Antonio Ranaldo, a manager with a passion for cooking, who during his travels around the globe realized how difficult it is to buy abroad the right ingredients to prepare a classic Italian pasta dish. The first step was to patent his idea for register the trademark, followed by the selection in the whole country of artisan ingredients stemming from biological agriculture, obtaining thus the ICEA certification, the Institute for Ethical and Environmental Certification with 28 offices worldwide, 300 technical evaluators and 13,000 subsidiaries. After having identified the recipes that combine the best of traditional peasant simplicity and genuineness of the Mediterranean diet, having designed the packaging, a recyclable box that contains all the pre-measured ingredients and which can be easily stored and transported, Ranaldo has presented his project to institutional investors: the newco Chef Dovunque Srl was founded, with Vertis SGR entering in the company with an investment of €800,000 along with three angel investors participating in the operation with additional €400,000.

"That in Chef Dovunque is our first investment in the food sector" - said Amedeo Giurazza, CEO of Vertis SGR - "We truly believe in this entrepreneurial project because it stems from such a as simple as innovative entrepreneurial idea and because it has significant growth prospects in Italy and especially abroad. The  pre-measured kits of Chef Dovunque represent a brand-new product, in what there is nothing of this kind on the market. In addition, with our investment , we also want to support the development and use of digital technologies and platforms that strengthen and render even more innovative and international the offer Chef Dovunque". 

In Italy the commercial strategy of Chef Dovunque provides for the distribution of the kits of first courses dosed in the GDO (large-scale retail channel) and within DO (Retail Purchasing Consortiums). The recipes are traditional, in portions for two or three persons: spaghetti with garlic, oil and chili, spaghetti with tomato and basil and penne arrabiata, all three also in the " integral" version, spaghetti with cheese and pepper and fettuccine with black truffles. The internationalization strategy aims at Europe, United States, Australia, China and Japan. 

"With the entry of the new shareholders this idea finally become an 'undertaking' - said Antonio Ranaldo , President and founder of Chef Dovunque - "The market for convenience foods is growing and only in Italy is worth more than €1 billion with a target that exceeds 38% of the Italian population, concentrated in the northern part of the peninsula and in the medium and large centers of central-south Italy. Abroad, beyond the growing demand for products that save time in the kitchen, Italian food is becoming increasingly popular and is synonymous of quality and healthy food. Our aim in the medium term is to exceed the €20 million of turnover. With this premises and with this team I am sure we can make it happen."