Goldbely Is Airbnb For Gourmet Food

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goldbelyGoldbely connects curious eaters with America’s most regionally famous and unique gourmet foods.  A team of “food explorers” personally selects every item available.  Shipping of orders is directly from food purveyors, often with overnight delivery.  Many items include free shipping.  TechCrunch recently hosted a video tour of Goldbely’s San Francisco headquarters.

Variety is indeed the spice of life.  And Goldbely has plenty of variety.  Food can be browsed by geographic region: The Northeast, The South, The Midwest, and The West.  Shops can also be filtered by sweets, meats, seafood, and snacks.  Goldbely Collections also has top picks for events and holidays, like America’s Best Gameday Eats, A Kentucky Derby Feast, and 8 Great American Pies.

Marketplaces like Goldbely have the chicken-and-egg problem.  Y Combinator has funded a few catering and food delivery companies: DoorDash, SpoonRocket, and ZeroCater.  One solution for growth might be to advertise directly to such businesses, which typically order in bulk and manage their own inventory. A rising tide lifts all boats.

Goldbely has been named one of Time’s 50 Best Websites of 2013.  Earlier this month, Goldbely raised a $3 million dollar seed round led by Intel Capital.  Arvind Sodhani, President of Intel Capital, stated “The Goldbely online marketplace facilitates business growth between buyers and sellers… Goldbely enables local food purveyors to tap into national demand for their products.”

Success for marketplaces is gained through real people and small businesses.  The secret sauce for such startups is emphasizing the benefit to users rather than focusing on the startup itself.  Airbnb does this par excellence, with both testimonials and an entire site devoted to reasons to host.  By paying attention to its community of users as it continues to grow, Goldbely could become the Airbnb of gourmet food.

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