Tastemade Gobbles Up ChefsFeed as the Two Tap Foodie Culture
Sam primarily covers entertainment and media for dot.LA. Previously he was Marjorie Deane Fellow at The Economist, where he wrote for the business and finance sections of the print edition. He has also worked at the XPRIZE Foundation, U.S. Government Accountability Office, KCRW, and MLB Advanced Media (now Disney Streaming Services). He holds an MBA from UCLA Anderson, an MPP from UCLA Luskin and a BA in History from University of Michigan. Email him at samblake@dot.LA and find him on Twitter @hisamblake
The Santa Monica-based food and travel network Tastemade has acquired ChefsFeed, a content platform for professional cooks to share recipes and restaurant reviews, often in collaboration with brands. Terms of the cash and stock deal were undisclosed.
The purchase gives Tastemade access to ChefsFeed's 40 million viewers and network of 6,000-plus chefs to fill its content pipeline.
"They will move the needle for us in terms of access to talent and expertise that we can feature in original programming and content," said Tastemade chief executive Larry Fitzgibbon.
It also gives the chefs an opportunity to cash in on foodie culture and offers some relief to those whose income has been crimped during the pandemic.
About 300 million people watch Tastemade's content every month across social, pay-TV and streaming platforms, according to the company.
ChefsFeed, based in the Bay Area, produces content featuring its community of professional chefs. In 2019, the company launched an "experiences" segment, wherein its chefs host ticketed events. Since the pandemic set in, that has expanded into livestreaming.
ChefsFeed will continue as a standalone product, and will now start to feed into Tastemade's distribution channels.
ChefsFeed chief executive Rich Maggiotto will report to Fitzgibbon.
"We wanted to find more ways for our chefs to make more money and to identify more ways to work with brands," said Maggiotto. "It's a natural fit in terms of getting more of our talent and expert community into shows that Tastemade has."
Jumoke Jackson, one of ChefsFeed's chefs, found a lifeline in the livestreaming platform as the restaurant industry reeled amid the pandemic.
"When COVID-19 hit, I lost most of my revenue stream as a chef," Jackson said in a statement. "I began using ChefsFeed Experiences to host livestream classes and it gave me the insight to expand my business model, spurring a ton of creative thought. I'm excited about Tastemade acquiring them and the possibilities to come!"
Maggiotto also highlighted the opportunity for ChefsFeed to expand beyond North America. Tastemade's content is available in the U.S., Canada, Australia, the U.K., three German-speaking markets and, as of this week, Brazil.
Eleven of ChefsFeed's 14 employees will be joining Tastemade. Maggiotto will become the new head of platform on the product and engineering side.
Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect ChefsFeed's accurate viewership numbers.
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