Raised to Date: Raised: $1,070,000
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In 1965, the amount a person spent on housework was 60 hours a week. By 1990, that number dropped to 20 hours a week mainly fueled by the rise of household appliances like washing machines, refrigerators, dishwashers, vacuums and electric stoves.
One area that has not changed in recent decades is the way we all cook. Today, people spend about an hour and a half a day on meal prep and clean up. This does not include meal planning or grocery shopping. In today’s busy world, finding time to make healthy home-cooked meals is very difficult and has led many to turn to ordering food.
Eating out at a restaurant or ordering food is more expensive and typically less healthy. Forbes has found on average it is almost five times more expensive to order delivery from a restaurant than it is to cook at home.
John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health also discovered cooking meals lead to eating healthier and consuming less calories than ordering food. Finding a way or product to make home cooking fast, easy, convenient, affordable, and fun again would be game changing
Mealthy offers quality kitchen appliances at a great price with innovative digital platforms to support customers in preparing simple, fast, delicious home-cooked meals. It is not just a provider of small kitchen appliances, but an app, website, and social media community to provide additional benefits for their customers. Mealthy’s vision of the future is creating a lifestyle centered around home cooking and a community of people connected over cooking.
Mealthy currently offers two kitchen appliances and is set to introduce 7 new products in 2019. Their flagship product is the Mealthy Multipot which launched in 2018. It is a multi-functional pressure cooker that boasts the ability to prepare 2 dishes at once. It is the #2 selling multi-functional electric pressure cooker on Amazon with a 4.7-star rating from over 1,200 reviews and selected as an Amazon’s Choice. Mealthy also introduced their own HandBlend that received a 4.7-star rating as well.
To build on the customer’s experience, Mealthy.com and Mealthy apps provide support long after the purchase of the appliance. They offer a library of different recipes, videos, articles, and more to provide inspiration and step-by-step instruction to create delicious dishes. Mealthy.com received over 100,000 visitors per month driven by 100% organic traffic (no advertising). They have accomplished this feat with expert SEO or search engine optimization to create more online visibility.
Mealthy has also fostered a large social media following. Mealthy customers become active members of a growing online community sharing new recipes, tips, tricks, and feedback.
Mealthy has been very successful on Facebook (336,000+ followers), Pinterest (398,000+ monthly views), and Instagram (28,000+ active users).
The Business Model
Mealthy generates all of its revenue with the sale of its appliances. It generated $6.5 million in 2018 with only 2 products launched and 7 more products have already been launched in 2019 or in later quarters of this year. The list of products is shown below:
Price: $99.95 (for 6 Quart)
$129.95 (for 8 Quart)
HandBlend Immersion Blender
Electric Glass Tea Kettle
Mealthy focuses on the customer’s journey with their product. After the purchase of the appliances, Mealthy customers can find one of hundreds of recipes. They can then create a grocery list of the ingredients needed to complete that recipe. A customer can then order those ingredients with a click of a button with Mealthy thanks to a partnership with Amazon Fresh and Instacart.
Access to the Mealthy website is completely free so it can be used as a tool to recruit more customers. Mealthy’s use of SEO or search engine optimization makes it possible for their recipes to appear very frequently when a certain recipe is Googled. To join Mealthy, a customer must share their email address which they then use as a part of their marketing campaign. The app also is free but requires an email as well. By understanding the customer’s experience with their product and smart marketing. Mealthy is able to stay competitive in this space.
The sales channels where the product is sold is mainly Amazon. 90% of all Mealthy sales or $6.1 million is from Amazon compared to 5% from Mealthy.com and other international distributors.
The partnership with Amazon comes with its own benefits and drawbacks. Using Amazon, Mealthy does not need to build their own infrastructure and has benefitted from special promotions like Amazon Prime Day. However, Mealthy is very dependent on them and any breakdown in their operation would be catastrophic for the product.
Mealthy is trying to fix this problem by diversifying their sales channels and has announced it will begin to be sold in big box retailers in late 2019-early 2020.
The app and website has gained considerable online traction as well. All traffic on Mealthy.com is completely organic and growing 20% per month. They currently have 91,000 registered users with no money spent on advertising on all of its platforms (iOS, Android, and website).
There is no current company that is doing exactly what Mealthy is trying to accomplish. There are appliance companies as well as recipe sharing companies, but Mealthy tries to do both. Mealthy has stated that they are an appliance business first so their main competitors would be giants in the industry like KitchenAid, General Electric (GE), Crockpot or Cuisinart to name a few.
Regarding their Mealthy’s #1 product (MultiPot), they must face InstaPot. The way Mealthy differentiates itself from InstaPot is by (1) offering way more than just a typical pressure cooker, (2) being able to prepare two different dishes at the same type, and (3) the digital community that Mealthy offers.
The small appliance market is growing, so Mealthy should prepare for even more competition. There was a 7% increase in 2019 alone and it is projected to be worth $155 billion by 2022. As of 2017, 17-20% of all small kitchen appliances were purchased online worth $38.3 billion. They estimate a 6.5% revenue growth expected in the US market alone between 2018 and 2022.
Besides being more than just an appliance company, Mealthy has smartly aligned and partnered with companies like Amazon and Instacart. The Mealthy team has indicated that they want to strength these partnerships as well as expand to provide the best service and experience for their customers.
Mealthy boasts people from all over the technology, appliances, and food industries ready to make Mealthy successful. Their team is experienced, talented, ambitious, and prepared for the challenges they must face in the future. They all share a vision for Move’s future and a drive to fulfill it.
Founder and CEO Bernardo de la Vega is a “serial entrepreneur” who has already been successful with other startups. After leaving Ernst & Young’s financial services, he started Radha Beauty, an online digital beauty product retailer in 2014. By 2017, they earned $36 million before being sold in 2018. De la Vega seems passionate and focused on bringing his dream for Mealthy into fruition.
Besides de la Vega, Mealthy is full of accomplished professionals in their given field like Henkey He, the Chief Product Engineer, who worked for China’s largest appliance manufacturer Midea or Jennifer Mosinski, Head of Product and Content, who has decades worth of experience in tech and culinary industries.
Additionally, Peter Han who co-founded and was COO for Datamyne, a import-export market data company, is the Head of Finance and Operations and Anna Di Meglio, who is Head of Marketing, has worked for decades in strategic marketing with companies like Instant Pot, Seger, Ballantine, Sauza, and Neutrogena to name a few.
The Mealthy will have an edge up on its competition given the experience of its team. While some startups can be overwhelmed by the challenges they face, this team seems battle tested and ready to go.
Why We Like it
- The Market: The small kitchen appliance market in the US alone is worth almost $6.5 billion and growing. Because it is so lucrative, there is lots of competition in this sector, but Mealthy has been successful thus far and with additional product lines, this trend doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.
Also with changing demographics, who view food differently, also puts Mealthy at an advantage. The International Food Information Council found that convenience is the main driver in food purchases for millennials (Mealthy’s targeted consumer) and the Washington Post reported general trends by millennials to eat healthier food. Healthy Living Index (HEI) has also steadily increased since 2008. Mealthy providing a product whose main features are convenience and health puts them in a great position.
- The Team: As stated earlier, this team is very experienced within their industry and have already made smart decisions regarding their product. For example, Anna Di Meglio, Head of Marketing, focuses on SEO over traditional advertising may be a game changer for Mealthy.
Because Mealthy’s online community is a big seller for their brand, focusing on online traction rather than typical marketing is a lot more effective in finding potential customers and provides saving for Mealthy who doesn’t need to invest in large print advertising campaigns and other traditional ad mediums.
- Future Plans: As stated earlier, Mealthy is introducing a number of new products in 2019. They seem most excited about the Mealthy CrispLid that transforms a pressure cooker to an air fryer or broiler because there is nothing like it on the market right now. They want to enhance customer’s experience on both the app and website as well. They have also stated they will use the crowdfunding money to continue building name-recognition for Mealthy.
Particularly exciting for them is introducing Mealthy to more international markets. In 2019, Mealthy will be expanding to Mexico, the United Kingdom, Europe, India, South America, and South Africa (mainly with help from Amazon).
These new markets can be extremely lucrative for Mealthy and they seem very optimistic about this expansion.
Mealthy is a Deal To Watch. Mealthy provides a platform approach to kitchen appliances rather than just being an appliance company, which is a unique differentiator to large incumbents.
Mealthy’s expansion to international markets, and product line expansion all seem like opportunities to grow the top line while becoming a more essential kitchen appliance line in the homes of their customers.
De la Vega has also proven his ability in the past to grow businesses in large market categories and succeed in doing so. We think there are many deep pocket incumbents that could acquire a company like Mealthy for its digital presence and focus on providing a cooking platform, rather than just appliances.
The major concern is obviously in the fact that 90% of their sales come from Amazon, which has proven that it is willing to close down vendors if it deems necessary. This would be the end of Mealthy most likely and leave the company in a situation where it can’t recover.
We want to see how the rollout of the 6 new products goes this year, and if they can actually get on the shelves of some big box retailers. It is yet to be seen if they can compete when sold alongside other major brands with a less savvy offline shopper.
If they can succeed in rolling out more products and open up these other major distribution channels both domestically and internationally, this could be a phenomenal investment. However, there is still significant risk until we know how this goes. The next year will be pivotal for setting the direction of the company.
At a $30M valuation cap, we think the valuation is reasonable at a 5X multiple to revenue and the team grew revenues from a little over $2M to $6M in one years time. We like the execution to date. Extrapolating 7 other products to $6M in revenue each over the next 2 years would get you to $42M. At a similar 5X revenue multiple, this would provide a valuation in the $200M range, which is healthy.
We like the opportunity and the management team. Results have been highly positive and while there is a good deal of competition, it is also a very large market and their digital offering is really unique. If you think the team can execute on rolling out 6 new products to multiple distribution channels, then this is definitely a really dynamic and intriguing investment opportunity.
We are bullish on this Deal To Watch!