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Hudson-based CookinGenie lands $2 million investment


HUDSON, Ohio – Sabah Drabu’s dream of expanding her CookinGenie personal-chef platform nationwide from her Hudson base took a giant step closer to reality this week with the news of a $2 million seed investment from a Houston firm.

The financial boost from global investment and venture capital firm Allison Wood Ventures has bolstered CookinGenie to help it expand to new markets nationwide.

Currently, the company operates in the Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati areas.

CookinGenie co-founders Drabu and Abhijit Ganguly created a network of chefs who travel to, and cook in, customers’ homes. It offers the option to hire a personal chef – known as “genie” – and to choose from a menu of available meals. The genie shops, prepares the meal, cooks and cleans.

Related coverage: Hudson-based CookinGenie matching up diners with personal chefs

The customer pays CookinGenie via the site; the company pays the chef, who can cook for intimate gatherings or large dinner parties.

CookinGenie launched in December 2019 but Covid put the brakes on the business, allowing Drabu – an engineer and foodie – to focus on the technological end.

“CookinGenie’s team identified a need, created a game-changing solution, and is currently customizing and scaling the business to ensure success,” said Allison Wood, founder and CEO of Allison Wood Ventures in a press release. “We are thrilled to invest in such a creative and forward-thinking startup, and we know the potential is limitless with this innovative team.”

The firm invests largely in information, consumer, retail and energy technology, as well as in real estate, media and other sectors.

I am on cleveland.com’s life and culture team and cover food, beer, wine and sports-related topics. If you want to see my stories, here’s a directory on cleveland.com. Bill Wills of WTAM-1100 and I talk food and drink usually at 8:20 a.m. Thursday morning. Twitter: @mbona30.

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