A clean social media feed of just scrumptious food. Honestly, is there anything more you need?
MealMe is a social platform that mimics the functions of Instagram, allowing individual users to post photos of food or restaurants. It combines the functions of Yelp, social media, and food delivery into one compact app.
Matthew Bouchner and Will Said, both currently undergraduate students at Emory University, came together to create a space where it’s easy to explore, order, and book — from reservations, ordering services, to food porn all in one platform. The “Internet of Food” is complicated, says the team, and they want to fix it.
Bouchner and Said have been working on the app since 2018, and they’re now in a beta phase with public launch scheduled this year. Here’s what they have to say on their journey to revamp the food industry.
What’s your pitch?
MealMe’s social platform works like Instagram — individuals or restaurants post, follow, like, or comment. When a user posts a photo tagged at a restaurant or a restaurant posts their own photo, MealMe allows other users to click on that post and access services such as Postmates for food delivery and Opentable for reservation booking.
We know that it’s hard to find a place to eat, so we help users to discover food with our AI-powered feed sorting and our food map that combines Yelp’s data with user-generated content. The internet of food is complicated, and there are so many food apps. MealMe is the food app.
How did you come up with this idea?
The idea for MealMe came when Bouchner had an Instagram profile for food, but became frustrated that there was no independent food social network, and even more frustrated that there were too many food apps.
Are you funded or bootstrapped?
At this point, we have bootstrapped MealMe. We are seeking a seed round of $120,000, a 10x multiple of our 12-month operations.
What is the market/industry impact?
The disjointed food app market has a valuation of over $10 billion. By bringing this market together, MealMe will be the only app that users need for food. The platform is flexible so anything food related (recipes, post when you’re cooking, nutrition) can be added.
What is the revenue model?
MealMe is free to use and deliveries/reservations come at no additional cost to users. MealMe takes a commission from its delivery and reservation booking partners off of each order or booking. We offer paid advertising and packets of useful data to restaurants and CPG companies.
Who are your competitors?
Our biggest competitor is WineNDine, an app for food pictures. They solely have food pictures and no integration with delivery or food discovery functionality.
What traction have you seen thus far?
We are grateful for the help that we have received along the way. We received first place in the iOS Demo Day at Georgia Tech, graduated from the Emory Entrepreneurial Accelerator in 2018, were a finalist in Emory’s Pitch the Summit competition, and have been awarded a space in the Atlanta Tech Village through Goizueta’s Pitch the Professors.
What are your next steps?
The next steps for this year are to finalize the user interface and implement deep links into the app. We are also constantly working to secure more delivery and reservation partners so that we can service users worldwide. Official launch on the app store is in the coming months.
Veena Jaipradeep is a student at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School. She is the editor of Innovation Quotient Magazine, an online magazine that embodies the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Emory and Atlanta.