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Ex-JustEat CEO backs $2.4M round of cultural online food startup by Syrian founder

MyJam Funding
Image credits: MyJam

MyJam, a London-based marketplace for cultural and specialty food, announced on Thursday that it has secured $2.4M in a pre-seed funding round led by InReach Ventures.

In March, InReach Ventures also invested in Your Juno, a financial education platform, which is focused on the financial empowerment of women and non-binary people

Other investors, including Ben Holmes (ex Index Ventures and Investor in JustEat), BY Ventures, and David Buttress (ex CEO JustEat), also participated in the round. 

Besides investment, David Buttress has joined MyJam as an Executive Chairman, where he will use his experience at JustEat to advise MyJam on the operational aspects of its UK expansion.

David Buttress, former CEO of JustEat and Angel Investor says, “MyJam is one of those rare businesses that grabs you at ‘hello’, delivering authentic foods, from great local suppliers to customers who want to experience some of the best global cuisines and ingredients. 

Buttress adds, “There are 87,000 grocery stores in the UK who will soon have the chance to deliver not just to their local neighbourhood but anywhere across the country. MyJam opens up a huge customer market and growth opportunity for retailers and suppliers.” 

“Over the last 5 years, I have looked at many different businesses in the food and delivery industry. I am excited to be embarking on building my next food adventure with Moe and MyJam as both an investor and Chairman,” he concludes. 

The company will use the funds to build out its product and scale its partnerships with grocers to bring a greater selection of products to the platform.

Started with Rose Jam

Moe Ghashim founded MyJam after he struggled to find his beloved Rose Jam, a sweet treat he ate as a child in his home country of Syria.

Moe Ghashim, Founder of MyJam says, “Food is not just sustenance, it’s deeply ingrained in the culture. For many of the UK’s first and second-generation migrants, food is the thing that keeps us connected with our cultural heritage. It’s how we celebrate and share our culture, and making a recipe that your mother made for a group of friends can mean everything. 

Through MyJam platform, customers can order fresh produce and products from around the world that they would otherwise struggle to find in supermarkets or on typically Westernised food-delivery platforms. 

Ghashim adds, “For food lovers who want to create food with ingredients from outside of what’s deemed ‘Western’, they usually have to embark on a James Bond-style mission to hunt down ingredients in multiple shops, consulting with Grocers who have the local knowledge about where they can find that specific type of nut or sweet Syrian treat. People simply don’t have the time so MyJam is connecting the dots and helping people to explore and enjoy food from around the world.”

Focusing on untapped network

Customers can also order chef-made meals from various cuisines such as Egypt, Morocco, and Iran – all with next-day delivery.

The platform is focusing on connecting a previously untapped network of independent local grocers, cultural chefs, and tech’s booming food delivery industry. 

MyJam says it has delivered 20,000 products in the first quarter of 2022, up 180% from the previous quarter. Some of the most popular products on the site were the Egyptian Rumi Cheese, Jordanian Courgette, and the Algerian Merguez, a lamb sausage popular in North Africa. 

Amanda Jones Floyd, Investor at InReach Ventures says, “When I met Moe, I could see his passion for what MyJam was doing for its customers… and then I saw the opportunity for InReach Ventures: to bring the largest food cultural experience directly to the home of millions of food lovers and exploit a new consumer trend. I think the world has enough pizzas and 15 minutes popcorn delivery. What MyJam is doing is widening food convenience to customers looking for culturally diverse foods and this opens up an underserved market which is ripe for engagement.”

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