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DayDayCook raises fresh funds to enhance step-by-step instructional videos on recipes

The Hong Kong start-up hits over 200 million views per month with the DayDayCook app being downloaded over 3 million times in China

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 July, 2017, 8:55pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 15 July, 2017, 1:20pm

Hong Kong startup DayDayCook on Thursday said that it closed a 100 million yuan (US$8.6 million) round in venture capital financing, as it looks to expand into mainland China.

The 100 million yuan Series B round was led by K11 Investments, Hong Kong businessman Adrian Cheng and the Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund, an investment unit of Alibaba Group.

The latest fundraising round follows a previous 35 million yuan Series A+ round also led by the Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund last year, and a previous US$5 million Series A round led by investors such as 500 Startups, Heyi Capital and MFund.

Watch: DayDayCook’s Norma Chu speaks at the 2017 Rise Conference on how companies should prepare themselves to be Series A ready

The company’s chief executive Norma Chu first founded the DayDayCook platform as a way to record her weekend cooking sessions. Today, the platform has over 3.2 billion views from its 4,500 instructional videos which teach viewers how to cook each recipe step-by-step.

DayDayCook’s recipes can be found across a variety of platforms, including Facebook, YouTube, Chinese video platform Youku and on wildly popular messaging app WeChat.

Norma Chu’s online cooking-made-easy videos get massive following

In China, it hits over 200 million views per month with the DayDayCook app being downloaded over 3 million times.

DayDayCook has also expanded into e-commerce, selling cooking sauces and cookbooks to its viewers. It plans to expand offline in the mainland as well, by opening a cooking shop in a Shanghai shopping centre owned by investor Cheng.

While DayDayCook is one of Hong Kong’s most prominent startups today, Chu said at a RISE panel discussion on Thursday that seeking early funding was an uphill task.

“I met with around 40 funds and one of them led [the round], so I had 39 doors shut in my face,” said Chu.“[But getting rejection] is building mental toughness, it’s part of the entire journey in entrepreneurship. You not only get rejected by investors ... [you might] get rejected by potential clients, or you might get negative feedback on social media.”

I met with around 40 funds and one of them led [the round], so I had 39 doors shut in my face
Norma Chu, DayDayCook

“You’ve got to take it less personally – not everyone has to love your business idea. You just need to find one or two people to kick off your [fundraising] round,” she added.

Chu said that for DayDayCook’s Series A round, she wanted a Chinese renminbi fund as an investor given that the company had just started expanding its content into the Chinese market.

“I wanted to also attract a popular or famous Chinese investor to invest in DayDayCook, to validate the business model itself,” she said, since there was no other company doing what DayDayCook was doing in China back in 2015.

Alibaba owns the South China Morning Post.