Personal chef booking platform Kitchit will soon run out of funding and will cease operations on Wednesday, according to a person familiar with the situation at the startup.
But Kitchit CEO Brendan Marshall denied any decision to shut down has been made.
“Like many startups in our proximity, Kitchit is navigating turbulent times,” Marshall told IBD via email. “That said, no such decision has been reached and we continue to be actively engaged in fundraising conversations. We recently served our 100,000th customer and hope to serve many multiples of that number in the future.”
But a source told IBD that Marshall announced the decision to close up shop. Also, Kitchit’s website is not currently accepting bookings.
The company has raised $8.1 million in two funding rounds, according to CrunchBase, from more than 20 individual investors, but the vast majority of the funding came from Javelin Venture Partners, which chipped in $7.5 million.
The news of Kitchit’s possible closure comes hot on the heels of New York-based Kitchensurfing, a similar firm, shutting down, and might signal trouble in the food delivery sector.
Kitchit began as an online marketplace where diners can find and hire personal chefs with custom menus. But the company discontinued that service in August to focus on its less-expensive service Kitchit Tonight. Kitchit Tonight offers pre-prepared food that’s assembled at a customer’s home by a chef for $39 per person.
Launched in San Francisco four years ago, Kitchit expanded to Chicago, Los Angeles and New York.
The company does business in a fiercely competitive market that includes well-funded startups such as DoorDash — which delivers meals prepared at restaurants — as well as e-commerce leader Amazon.com (AMZN) and GrubHub (GRUB).
Amazon offers food delivery through its Amazon Restaurants business.
Yelp (YELP) and Square (SQ) also have food delivery businesses.
Noah Doyle, the managing director at Javelin who oversees Kitchit, did not immediately return a request for comment.
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