Gojee Finds Its Way Into the Food Spotlight, Enters Talks for First Round of Funding

8/15/11Follow @jpruth

Sometimes a startup needs to pivot a few times until it finds just the right idea. Similar to chefs trying out new dishes, Gojee co-founder Michael LaValle says his one-year-old company changed its own formula twice before its latest idea caught on this summer. The New York startup curates recipes based on the ingredients its users’ keep in their respective kitchens.

Gojee offers its subscribers links to recipes based on the ingredients they list. LaValle, 31, a West Point grad and a former analyst, says Gojee features dishes from some 80 food bloggers chosen by the staff. “It depends on how much history [the bloggers] have in writing, the quality of their photos, and how easy their recipes are to cook,” LaValle says. Gojee is geared for intrepid cooks who may not be master chefs but are not complete beginners, he says.

So far Gojee is bootstrapped, but LaValle says the company is in talks for its first outside funding, which he hopes to close within the next six weeks. He declined to specify the amount of funding being sought, and LaValle is not in a rush to grow Gojee’s staff of seven. “We’re not trying to expand,” he says. “We need runway to make sure we can keep this trajectory.”

Gojee accidentally called attention to itself this summer, according to LaValle. From March until late June, the company ran an open beta test primarily with friends and family trying out the site. That changed after a Gojee staffer simply asked designer Tina Roth Eisenberg for input, which led to … Next Page »

João-Pierre S. Ruth is the editor of Xconomy New York. He can be reached at jpruth@xconomy.com and followed on Twitter @jpruth. Follow @jpruth

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