The foodie internet just got more crowded. Backed by celebrity chefs Eric Ripert and Tom Colicchio and $7 million in seed funding, Flavrs debuted on Tuesday, Sept. 13, with a deep feed of cooking videos, step-by-step recipes, meal planning tools, and the ability to instantly shop for groceries online.
“Flavrs is not for the average person who kind of cares about food. It is for the crazy people who live to eat,” says Alejandro Oropeza, co-founder and chief executive officer of the app. “If the thing you’re looking at looks delicious, and you want to do something about it, we’re going to give you the most efficient, most satisfying way to going from intention to action.”
Open the Flavrs app, you’ll see a TikTok-like interface that invites you to discover thousands of videos for foods, from kimchi fried rice to dairy-free chocolate crème brûlée.
There’s Ripert’s saffron risotto—a recipe developed for the app—an ice cream sandwich by Andrew Rea from Binging with Babish, and Jamie Milner’s shakshuka from Everything Delish, as well as gluten-free and paleo options. The content combines custom-made recipes and videos made just for Flavrs, along with repurposed hits from popular blogs and social personalities.
At the bottom right-hand corner, users can click on a recipe icon that shows both the detailed ingredients and cooking steps for a dish featured in a short video, with adjustable serving sizes. Below the recipe icon, a shopping cart takes users to an in-app version of Instacart, allowing them to buy everything the dish requires. All ingredients are automatically added to the shopping cart; users can un-tick items they prefer to skip. People who are just browsing can bookmark videos and save them in a personal folder.
“Think about this as a Spotify playlist for food, where you’re going to start to aggregate the French collection, the Mexican collection, the Thanksgiving collection,” says Oropeza. “You’re going to be able—in the future—to see what other people are bookmarking, what they’re cooking, what creators and chefs are cooking, and share these playlists with your friends.”
Since he grew up in Mexico City, Oropeza spent his life surrounded by food. From the age of 7, he helped out at Cafe Konditori opened by his grandma in 1953 and run by his family for more than 60 years until it closed. “I like to joke that before I could speak English proficiently, I could cook proficiently,” he says.
Oropeza trained as a chef at the Ritz Hotel in Paris before leaving the kitchen to work for Procter & Gamble, Google, and YouTube in roles including product manager and global head of creator marketing. During the Covid-19 pandemic, his love for food and experience at working with internet personalities inspired him to join with co-founder François Chu to build Flavrs, at which their knowledge of technology, content creation, and e-commerce is being deployed to create a one-stop shop to serve the culinary obsessions of foodies.
Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz is a lead investor for Flavrs; Bloomberg LP, which owns Bloomberg Businessweek, is an investor in Andreessen Horowitz. Others include Wellington Access Ventures, Progression Fund, Firstminute Capital LLP, and Cercano Management (formerly Vulcan Capital, the late Paul Allen’s family office).
Flavrs is currently available only on the iOS App Store; wider release may follow. Oropeza plans to bring in additional content creators and roll out social features enabling users to comment and post their cooking results to the app.