Note: Scale is now Redbud VC
Redbud VC is an early-stage venture capital fund and studio investing monetary and social capital in early-stage tech founders.
Reach out to Brett Calhoun, Managing Director & GP at Redbud VC, at email@example.com to learn about Redbud, and subscribe to our newsletter here. Kicking off Scale’s cohort III (companies here) why we invested article series is Celcy. With a market opportunity of $400B, a strong founding team, and a national obesity rate growing faster than inflation… Celcy is building the first autonomous cooking solution to trailblaze healthy eating habits using robotics and AI. Their first product is a robotic IoT freezer and oven combination that cooks nutritious meals from your phone.
💡 Celcy is building the kitchen appliances of the future, starting with automated at-home meals. Celcy’s first product is a robotic IoT freezer and oven that cooks from your phone.
“Most people believe that frozen food is low quality and cheap. We believe that frozen food can be high quality and nutritious and that’s why we’re building Celcy.” — Max Wieder
Redbud invested in Celcy with the intent of using technology to reshape nutritional habits and increase the quality of life. How does Celcy do this? A smart oven and freezer autonomously cook nutritious chef-prepared food, allowing you to forget unhealthy options like takeout or fast food and win back your free time. Celcy is the ONLY cooking solution that doesn’t require you to be physically present for your food preparation, and will be capable of replacing the entire meal cycle from buying groceries to loading the dishwasher!.
The process is as follows: i) Order Macro-Tracked Frozen Meals Through Celcy’s Ghost Kitchen Partners ii) After the meals are delivered to your door, load the trays in your Celcy Freezer iii) On the App, remotely press Cook from your Office or schedule a meal to be cooked in the future iv) Food will be ready when you arrive v) Repeat
Food on-demand redefined. A paradigm shift making frozen, the new fresh.
It’s not just the time savings that make Celcy attractive, but Celcy decreases waste. Meal prep services are supposed to decrease the 30–40% of groceries that are wasted, they are reported to still account for 33% due to consumers forgetting to eat the food on time. Though individuals could freeze prepared meals, most recent generations (i.e., millennials & GenZ) prefer fresh food and would rather sacrifice food if it’s not fresh. With Celcy, meals are frozen from their freshly prepared state, and the patented oven technology cooks the food to maintain flavor when compared to microwaved meals.
The equipment and meals sound expensive, but the Celcy unit can be purchased on an interest-free payment plan for $50 over 11 months with individual meals starting at $11.99. By decreasing the cost per trip to the grocery store, the hundred of dollars wasted on unused groceries each month, the time spent preparing meals, and saving an average of and saving $13 per takeout meal, Celcy estimated individuals will save a total of $6.5k+ per year.
Historically, brands such as Eggo, Pepperidge Farm, Green Giant, and Tyson Foods have thrived within this market and have not provided the healthy and convenient experience that Celcy will. Celcy is coming into the market at the start of a new wave of frozen food as healthy frozen brands change consumers’ perception that frozen is low quality and cheap (e.g., Strong Roots and Daily Harvest). In fact, recently, frozen food growth has outpaced fresh food growth.
A plethora of hardware and software solutions are being built to simplify consumers' meal prep experiences, but none have the ability to check every box the way that Celcy does (e.g., remote, waste, affordability, health, and time). Most alternatives are point solutions like fridges capable of automatically ordering food, remote-controlled stoves/ovens, or meal delivery services. Max Wieder and Eddie Holzinger, the founders of Celcy, have experience in hardware and software systems with extensive backgrounds designing spacecrafts for NASA and building complex backend data structures. They are joined by a highly technical team. The investment team at Redbud believes that Max and his team will reach their great potential and lead the no-cooking revolution!
Co-authored by Brett Calhoun and William VanAlastine