With just 2.5% of European startups with multiple founders having an all female founder team, Feedr is one of the few small tech businesses leading the way in this area. So to mark International Women’s Day 2021, we interviewed our co-founders, Riya and Lyz, to find out more about their experience as women founders, their thoughts on the food industry and in typical Feedr foodie tradition, what they like to cook!
What is the biggest thing you’ve learnt about launching and running a business?
RIYA: The importance of the quality of team you build and how they collaborate together. An ambitious, motivated team can make great things happen.
LYZ: That you never know what great thing or new challenge is coming up the next day. Be ready for anything, and take each new challenge as an adventure and a chance to learn something new.
What’s the one piece of advice you’d give someone looking to launch their own business?
RIYA: Work hard to understand the customer pain points and run lots of lean tests to prove out your hypothesis
LYZ: Surround yourself with great people you can count on every day.
What’s your proudest Feedr moment to date?
RIYA: Launching more detailed nutritional information and tracking for our Cloud Canteen customers, alongside our first expert partnership. Both got us closer to our mission of truly giving people access to transparent information on the food they eat and education to encourage smarter food choices.
LYZ: The first time a client told me that our product actually made their day better every day! The first time I heard someone repeat back to me why we’ve created Feedr – eating lunch you felt good about even when you’re busy and don’t have time, or access to the food you want, there’s nothing like that feeling.
Where do you look for inspiration? (can be other brands, specific publications, people etc.)
RIYA: Everywhere! I love taking inspiration from great products that I use on a daily basis. I also read a variety of blogs and journals to keep abreast of new innovation.
LYZ: I look for inspiration in people who are building great products that are also ethical – brands that are B-corp certified, transparent, upcycling, using technology for good, and taking their inspiration from nature tend to be the ones I trend towards.
What are your thoughts on the changing nature of the food industry + Feedr’s role in driving change within it?
RIYA: As integrated tech becomes standard across every area of our lives, it’s inevitable that the same will happen for the food industry. However until recently, it has felt quite behind. Most people still lack transparency on how their food is prepared, where it comes from and even sometimes the nutritional value, and so our goal at Feedr is to bridge that gap. We’re making it easier for people to get this information and in turn, we’re empowering them to eat better and thrive.
LYZ: It’s a tough time for food producers in London – business rates and rents are high, and so margins are narrowing, which can drive businesses to make savings in other ways, such as the quality and sourcing of their ingredients. But we’re also finding that consumers are wanting more transparency on these things, and so it’s an interesting space right now. We’ve created a model that supports independent vendors by giving them access to hundreds of orders a day, which in turn makes it more viable for them to not have to compromise on the sourcing or quality of their produce. And we expect this will only further improve as we continue to scale across London.
What’s the one ingredient you always find yourself reaching for when you’re cooking at home?
RIYA: Harissa paste
LYZ: Great olive oil and Maldon sea salt
What’s your current favourite restaurant?
RIYA: Mazi in Notting Hill and The Palomar in Soho
LYZ: That’s a tricky one, I can’t name just one! At the moment I’d say Nopi, Oklava and Brindisa
Finally, what’s your go-to dish when you want to impress?
RIYA: Crab linguine with freshly made pasta
LYZ: Not a dish but I do a killer sweet/savoury brunch with waffles (and candian maple syrup obviously) and a bacon and kale frittata