“It was clear to me that video was the key to telling stories about food,” Foodzie co-founder Emily Olson wrote in an email to users, “The people, the place, and the craft behind the food. Video brings all of this to life. ” Foodzie will eventually become “Joyus Food,” joining Apparel, Home, Beauty, and Lifestyle as a branded category. The company will continue to offer its signature tasting boxes on a one-off basis, but will discontinue its subscription service after July.
The seven person Foodzie team will all join Joyus, which uses online video to help customers discover things they’d like to buy across multiple verticals — sort like the Home Shopping Network, but on the Internet. Joyus, which has raised $7.9 million from Accel Partners, presents short video vignettes like “World’s Best Makeup Setting Spray” and “Essential Eats For The Backyard BBQ” in order to entice users to buy a collection of products. Foodzie raised a modest $1.02 million from Jeff Clavier and others prior to its acquisition.
Those with a keen eye might notice that the “Essential Eats For The Backyard BBQ” vignette actually stars Olson, who will be moving onto a video host role inside Joyus, becoming the chief curator of Joyus Food. Co-founder and husband Rob LaFave will take on a business development type position.
Olson also tells me that aside from a content standpoint, the company decided that Joyus would be the best fit based on the background of its founder and Chairman Sukhinder Singh Cassidy. Former Google Cassidy has been named one of the Most Powerful Women in Business by Fortune and has spent time at Amazon in addition to CEO of Polyvore for two years.
So she knows her eCommerce shiz I’m assuming.
Olson asserts that her vision for a successful eCommerce company is one that includes all verticals, and she feels like the Foodzie ethos has much more of a chance for success within a larger company. “There will be some new big players emerging. I think the big e-commerce businesses that will be built will involve multiple categories where you can leverage resources across categories,” Olson said, “but will take a different approach on discovery whether that’s video, flash sale, personalization or subscription.”
She’s super-positive about both an end and a new beginning after a four year-long journey.
“Four years ago, Rob and I lived in North Carolina far away from any entrepreneurial community,” Olson told me, about the rewards of getting Foodzie off of the ground and what she learned about creating a startup, “Through building this company we are now in the center of both a food and entrepreneurial community in San Francisco. Four years later, I see a huge amount of interest and demand for the good food we wanted to share with the world (that continues to grow) and that feels pretty awesome. Oh and did I mention I created a job where I eat good food for a living? Chocolate is the ultimate reward. “