Traveling Spoon connects travelers with private, authentic food experiences in people's homes around the world. Our company is addressing the $246 billion culinary tourism industry, offering travelers meaningful, memorable experiences that transform their travels. We have established a presence in 29 countries and have developed a team with experience from Google, Groupon, Yahoo and Alice Waters. We launched our website in September 2015, a fully developed platform that includes an entirely automated payment processing and traveler notifications, and have partnerships in place with Expedia and Viator (owned by TripAdvisor) to scale consumer acquisition. Our goal is to have 100,000 hosts and be serving 10 million travelers, which equates to under 1% of the travel market, a $400MM business.
Travel is changing. People seek authenticity, meaning and a connection to local culture when they travel. However, the experiences that have traditionally been offered to travelers are, in our opinion, undifferentiated and unfulfilling, and discovery is broken. Traveling Spoon is creating a new shareable economy that allows travelers to truly experience authentic cuisine in local homes around the world.
We are an online platform that connects travelers with locals, enabling them to share authentic, in-home food experiences, from meals to cooking classes to market tours. Imagine traveling to Thailand and instead of eating at a touristy restaurant or going to a local attraction where there are thousands of other people, you take the subway to a new neighborhood. You get picked up by a local, and together, you guys tour her neighborhood market, where you see monks give blessings to vendors and few other tourists in sight. She then drives you in her long boat down a scenic river to her childhood home where you learn to make her favorite recipes that she had learned from her mother. We build the technology to enable these authentic connections and experiences.
What the press is saying
“The next generation of culinary tourism.” - Forbes
“If you're constantly seeking traditional dishes on your travels, look no further than Traveling Spoon” - Condé Nast Traveler
“[Shop] for birds eye chillies, raw papaya and basil with your host, before learning to make a classic som tam in their home.”- National Geographic Traveler
“8 Must-Have Travel Apps” - CNN
What our customers are saying
“The experience was beyond my imagination!... You step in their home as a guest through Traveling Spoon, but you step out as a part of their family.”
“The more I use Travelling Spoon....the more I love the experience of connecting people through food...and the cultural exchange is just another bonus! It's definitely making the world a smaller place.”
“We were gifted a cooking lesson with Putu and her family through the Traveling Spoon which proved to be one of the best experiences we had in Bali. For anyone looking to taste wonderful, real Balinese food and interact with a local family, this is a must-do activity for you!”
“Our first Traveling Spoon experience was simply perfect from start to finish! Dewa and Jero were wonderful hosts. We learned a huge amount about Balinese culture and Dewa was happy to answer any questions we had. Their traditional-style house and village are beautiful. The cooking lesson was fantastic, and the resulting meal delicious. The experience was definitely the highlight of our time in Bali.”
Disclaimer: The above individuals were not compensated in exchange for their testimonials. In addition, their testimonials should not be construed as and/or considered investment advice.
Private Investor Dinner in San Francisco
Join Stephanie Lawrence, Co-Founder & Co-CEO of Traveling Spoon, as she hosts a group of West Coast investors for a private dinner featuring authentic cuisine from one of Traveling Spoon's regions. RSVP to learn more about this exciting investment opportunity.
When: February 2, 2017 at 7:00 - 9:00 PM EST
Location: Mission, San Francisco at the Fonder's Home
RSVP Required: https://travelingspoon.splashthat.com/
Traveling Spoon is an online marketplace that matches travelers with personally vetted home cooks offering private, authentic food experiences worldwide. The technology is a fully built Ruby on Rails web platform that is mobile-optimized. Travelers can visit our website, search by destination, and book a host of their choosing. Travelers pay for the experience up front through our website, and we handle the payouts to the host so that no money needs to exchange hands during the experiences.
We vet 100% of our hosts to meet our requirements and have developed a low-cost vetting process through our ambassador program to enable continued high quality at scale. Our vetting system is unique from other platforms’; no other companies - according to our knowledge - have the same rigorous selection process and quality of hosts that we have.
We currently have three offerings: in-home meals, cooking classes and market tours.
We have proven product-market fit with 2,000+ users and an NPS 3x the industry average. Next, our goal is to scale.
We have experienced first-hand the frustration of traveling around the globe only to eat bad food in hotel restaurants and be confronted with tourist-trap destinations. We are passionate travelers who believe that travel is important. In 2007, co-founder Steph Lawrence traveled to China for the first time. After 2 1/2 weeks in the country, she was struck by how little she had connected with the local food and culture. Spending weeks traveling by tour bus from silk factory to hotel banquet hall where she ate with other tourists, she realized she didn't connect with the local culture at all. She decided to move to China in 2009 to learn the language and explore the culture through its food - she wanted to learn to make dumplings from a Chinese grandmother. But when she moved there, she found there was nothing out there to help her find the experiences she sought.
In 2011, Aashi traveled to Mexico and had a similar problem discovering the local food and culture. She scoured review websites trying to find the most authentic food and the least touristy restaurants she could. On her way to another overly-crowded tourist spot, she saw through a window a woman in her kitchen, making dinner. That was where she wanted to be eating dinner, sharing a homemade meal with this local Mexican woman, hearing her stories and learning about her culture.
When we met at business school in Berkeley in 2011, these experiences were still with us. We both believe in the power of travel, that travel can make the world a smaller, better place.
- $2,500: Lifetime discount of 10% on experiences booked through Traveling Spoon.
- $5,000: Lifetime discount of 15% on experiences booked through Traveling Spoon.
- $10,000: Lifetime discount of 20% on experiences booked through Traveling Spoon, plus two of the Company's founders' favorite cookbooks.
- $25,000: Lifetime discount of 20% on experiences booked through Traveling Spoon, plus an invitation to the Company's exclusive launch party in San Francisco.
- $50,000: Private dinner party hosted by the founders of the Company in the investor's home.
- $75,000+: Up to $2,000 in airfare for a trip to Asia, plus four complimentary Traveling Spoon experiences.
It is advised that you consult a tax professional to fully understand any potential tax implications of receiving investor perks before making an investment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Title III of the JOBS Act outlines Reg CF, a type of offering allowing private companies to raise up to $1 million from all Americans. Prior capital raising options, limited private companies to raising money only from accredited investors, historically the wealthiest ~2% of Americans. Like a Kickstarter campaign, Reg CF allows companies to raise funds online from their early adopters and the crowd. However, instead of providing investors a reward such as a t-shirt or a card, investors receive shares, typically equity, in the startups they back. To learn more about Reg CF and other offering types check out our blog and academy.
The Form C is a document the company must file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) which includes basic information about the company and its offering and is a condition to making a Reg CF offering available to investors. It is important to note that the SEC does not review the Form C, and therefore is not recommending and/or approving any of the securities being offered.
Before making any investment decision, it is highly recommended that prospective investors review the Form C filed with the SEC (a copy of which may be found below) before making any investment decision.
When you complete your investment on SeedInvest, your money will be transferred to an escrow account where an independent escrow agent will watch over your investment until it is accepted by Traveling Spoon. Once Traveling Spoon accepts your investment, and certain regulatory procedures are completed, your money will be transferred from the escrow account to Traveling Spoon in exchange for your shares. At that point, you will be a proud owner in Traveling Spoon.
Preferred equity is usually issued to outside investors and carries rights and conditions that are different from that of common stock. For example, preferred equity may include rights that prevent or minimize the effects of dilution or grants special privileges in situations when the company is sold.
A convertible note is a unique form of debt that converts into equity, usually in conjunction with a future financing round. The investor effectively loans money to a startup with the expectation that they will receive equity in the company in the future at a discounted price per share when the company raises its next round of financing.
To learn more about startup investment types check out “How to Choose a Startup Investment” in our academy.
An investor is limited in the amount that he or she may invest in a Reg CF offering during any 12-month period:
- If either the annual income or the net worth of the investor is less than $100,000, the investor is limited to the greater of $2,000 or 5% of the lesser of his or her annual income or net worth.
- If the annual income and net worth of the investor are both greater than $100,000, the investor is limited to 10% of the lesser of his or her annual income or net worth, to a maximum of $100,000.
Separately, Traveling Spoon has set a minimum investment amount of US $0.
To make an investment, you will need the following information readily available:
- Personal information such as your current address and phone number
- Employment and employer information
- Net worth and income information
- Social Security Number or government-issued identification
- ABA bank routing number and checking account number (typically found on a personal check or bank statement)
For offerings made under Regulation CF, you may cancel your investment at any time up to 48 hours before a closing occurs or an earlier date set by the company. You will be sent a reminder notification approximately five days before the closing or set date giving you an opportunity to cancel your investment if you had not already done so. Once a closing occurs, and if you have not canceled your investment, you will receive an email notifying you that your shares have been issued. If you have already funded your investment, your funds will be promptly refunded to you upon cancellation. To cancel your investment, you may go to your portfolio page.
You are a partial owner of the company, you do own shares after all! But more importantly, companies which have raised money via Regulation CF must file information with the SEC and post it on their websites on an annual basis. Receiving regular company updates is important to keep shareholders educated and informed about the progress of the company and their investment. This annual report includes information similar to a company’s initial Reg CF filing and key information that a company will want to share with its investors to foster a dynamic and healthy relationship.
In certain circumstances a company may terminate its ongoing reporting requirement if:
- The company becomes a fully-reporting registrant with the SEC
- The company has filed at least one annual report, but has no more than 300 shareholders of record
- The company has filed at least three annual reports, and has no more than $10 million in assets
- The company or another party purchases or repurchases all the securities sold in reliance on Section 4(a)(6)
- The company ceases to do business
However, regardless of whether a company has terminated its ongoing reporting requirement per SEC rules, SeedInvest works with all companies on its platform to ensure that investors are provided quarterly updates. These quarterly reports will include information such as: (i) quarterly net sales, (ii) quarterly change in cash and cash on hand, (iii) material updates on the business, (iv) fundraising updates (any plans for next round, current round status, etc.), and (v) any notable press and news.
You can return to SeedInvest at any time to view your portfolio of investments and obtain a summary statement. In addition to monthly account statements, you may also receive periodic updates from the company about their business.
Securities purchased through a Reg CF offering are not freely transferable for one year after the date of purchase, except in the case where they are transferred:
- To the company who sold the securities
- To an accredited investor
- As part of an offering registered with the SEC (think IPO)
- To a member of the family of the purchaser or the equivalent, to a trust controlled by the purchaser, to a trust created for the benefit of a member of the family of the purchaser, or in connection with the death or divorce of the purchaser
Regardless, after the one year holding period has expired, you should not plan on being able to readily transfer and/or sell your security. Currently there is no market or liquidity for these shares and the company does not have any plans to list these shares on an exchange or other secondary market. At some point the company may choose to do so, but until then you should plan to hold your investment for a significant period of time before a “liquidation event” occurs. A “liquidation event” is when the company either lists their shares on an exchange, is acquired, or goes bankrupt.