And now a break from our regularly scheduled programming.
We here at Food52 are a little old-fashioned when it comes to money -- we don't like to talk about it. Although it has become a tradition for start-ups to announce fundings with great fanfare, we haven't done so until now, because we'd rather show you how we're improving the site and building the company than tell you how much money some very-smart-and-sensible people invested in our dreams.
But now the cat is out of the bag, and we wanted our community to hear it here first. And so we're thrilled to tell you that we recently closed our Series A with a $2 million investment from some of the industry's best media and commerce investors! The round was led by Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, with Vocap Ventures, Zelkova Ventures, and Gary Vaynerchuk joining as well. Lerer Ventures, 15 Angels, and angel investor Joanne Wilson followed on from our seed round, as did a number of other extremely savvy investors.
We raised money because we want to build the best food site in the world -- a place where you can meet other like-minded cooks and get everything you need to eat well. We started with recipes, and have since built a thriving community; we've published books and an iPad app; we've resolved countless kitchen dilemmas on our hotline; we've partnered with Whole Foods Market and Real Time Farms; and we've begun offering food and tabletop wares in our Shop. And in recognition of all those accomplishments, we were named Publication of the Year by the James Beard Foundation in 2012.
We're delighted to be working with BDMI, whose parent company, Bertelsmann, is one of the world’s largest homes for creative content and owns a number of leading European recipe sites like Chefkoch.de. “The Food52 team has cultivated an impressive community of food enthusiasts, home cooks and writers who have created some of the best food-related content on the web. Going forward we are excited to see them expand eCommerce and continue to be the hub for America’s food revolution,” said Sim Blaustein, a Principal at BDMI.
Over the next year, we'll be improving our user experience for all mobile devices. We have a great new shop, unlike any other, in the works. And we'll be expanding our publishing platform through an innovative partnership with Random House, Inc., which publishes renowned food writers Ina Garten, Alice Waters, and Yotam Ottolenghi. “We are excited to welcome the Food52 investment as part of the Bertelsmann Family – we at Random House have long considered them a leader not just in food content but also as a community of writers," said Ranjana Wingender, VP Business Development at Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.
We've been growing tremendously over the past year and have been lucky to get to hire a bunch of incredibly talented people and to move into a snazzy new office (more on this soon!), and we have you to thank for it. At this exciting time, we want to know what you want to see more of on Food52 -- from recipes to techniques to products -- and we're hoping you'll submit your suggestions here. We look forward to working with you to make the site better and better -- the best food site in the world.
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