Startup Series: Meet Bitewell, the platform providing dietitian curated wellness

Chris Fanucchi is no stranger to traveling for work. As the co-founder of beverage companies KOIA, a plant protein drink now available at Whole Foods nationwide, and Limitless, a lightly caffeinated sparkling water acquired by Keurig Dr. Pepper in January 2020, Chris spent years traveling the country as he built two successful businesses from scratch. But Chris encountered a persistent problem as he traversed state lines: he constantly struggled to maintain healthy eating.

antler

Antler

The investor backing the world's most driven founders, from day zero to greatness. Enabling thousands of founders every year to launch and scale companies that move the world forward.

Chris's struggle wasn't fueled by a lack of selection, but a lack of understanding which products were genuinely healthy options and where he could buy these items. Making healthy eating decisions is difficult, time-consuming, expensive, and there are no existing companies that pair healthy food recommendations with delivery services. "The research on the Internet was so fragmented. I realized there was a real opportunity to create a house of wellness: one place and one brand that you could rely on for all your food decisions and I really started obsessing about that," Chris explains.

Chris's solution? Bitewell, a platform that ties data-driven dietician recommendations with last-mile food delivery. By layering nutritional and diet information on top of leading food delivery companies, like Grubhub, Peapod, and Freshly, Bitewell makes these recommendations from experts accessible and shoppable. Bitewell services will include restaurant food delivery, grocery delivery via shoppable recipes, meal kit delivery, and nutrition advice.

Chris began building Bitewell in August 2019. By January 2020 he'd partnered with Jen Widerstrom, who now leads the company's influencer programming and recruitment, to ideate, work through problem statement validation, and create Bitewell's brand and assets. But Chris ran into countless technological challenges that impeded progress in developing Bitewell's application. These difficulties prompted Chris to enter the Antler US program in February 2020. He dove straight into dedicated coaching sessions with Antler advisors and sought out technical support.

"After getting accepted to Antler, I challenged myself to push Bitewell into the world as soon as possible, especially given the urgent need to eat healthily in the COVID era," says Chris. He quickly linked up with Sameep Sheth, an engineer he met in the program. Chris told Sameep that he wanted to immediately develop a text message marketplace to highlight emerging brands along with the application. The pair dove in and Bitewell launched the text message marketplace in June 2020. (Sign up for it here.) As they finalize Bitewell's application development, the text message marketplace allows Bitewell to preemptively enroll users and build excitement before the launch.

Bitewell secured pre-seed funding from Antler after successfully pitching to the Investment Committee in June 2020. Chris's advice to founders joining Antler? Enter with a crystal clear idea of what you need from the community. Chris advises, "I knew that I wanted VC funding, backing from the tech world, and engineering help. And I'm literally getting exactly that."

Chris Fanucchi - Founder of Bitewell

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get the latest news and views from Antler’s global community

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Must-read articles from Antler

Browse our collection of founder stories, industry insights and latest startup successes from Antler Australia

See articles
Insights
5 min read
Introducing Canada's Next Big Thing: A blueprint for future entrepreneurs

Exciting news for entrepreneurs ready to leave their mark: We've launched a pivotal initiative that spotlights the diverse opportunities within Canada's thriving industries.

Our report curates pivotal problem statements from Canada's leading tech visionaries, founders, and VCs, offering aspiring entrepreneurs a pathway to impactful innovation.

Discover 20+ big opportunities pinpointed by top Canadian minds, spread across six fast-growing industries. Each challenge is an invitation to create and innovate—leading the way to the future.

We hope it will serve as a roadmap for aspiring founders ready to build tomorrow's solutions today.

Insights
5 min read
Invest in women: fast-track progress

Making progress a certainty—our north star goal at Antler—can’t happen if driven and visionary people aren’t firing at all cylinders with the support they need to tackle the pressing problems of our time. We’re marking International Women’s Day by asking women founders and team members in Antler’s global community why women are essential to progress.

Insights
5 min read
How to secure venture capital as an underrepresented founder

There is growing recognition that diverse founders and diverse teams generate more innovative solutions, ultimately building stronger businesses in the long run. Read Antler in the UK portfolio director Sarah Finegan's recent article in Startups Magazine, offering 10 tips on securing venture capital as an underrepresented founder.

Insights
5 min read
From day zero to greatness: Magnus Grimeland on the Capital Allocators podcast

How can the world tackle the increasingly complex problems of our time? With a new global infrastructure backing the most driven founders. Listen to Antler founder and CEO Magnus Grimeland discuss this—and why we're building Antler—on the Capital Allocators podcast.

News
5 min read
Antler expands into Queensland, Australia

Antler is charting a new course for innovation by expanding our presence in Australia. We are launching in Queensland and partnering with the Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC).

Supported by the Queensland Government's Queensland Venture Capital Development Fund (QVCDF), the partnership is poised to transform the state's innovation sector. With a focus on bridging the early-stage funding gap, Antler and QIC are committed to attracting and nurturing the nation's top talent, driving forward Queensland's position on the global innovation stage.

Insights
5 min read
Bridging startups and industry leaders to drive purposeful innovation

As Jeff Bezos once said: “What’s dangerous is to not evolve.” While most business leaders understand that stagnation is fatal, for a host of reasons established companies often struggle to innovate—purposefully and powerfully.

Antler’s Business Development and Collaborations Group helps global corporates drive innovation excellence through high value-generating collaborations with Antler’s 1,000+ (and growing) global startup portfolio. In our collaboration with Investa, a leading Australian real estate investment manager and developer, we are connecting them to our global community of founders and the cutting-edge solutions they are building.

Read more about the powerful outcomes that happen when ambitious startups and industry leaders come together.

Insights
5 min read
The next wave of innovation: 27 industry trends set to define 2024

What will innovation look like as we move deeper into 2024? What are the biggest industry trends that will define the coming year?

We asked our global network of Antler Operators—founders, sector leaders, CxOs, and VPs from companies including Roblox, Airtable, Shopify, Spotify, Affirm, DoorDash, Uber, Hubspot, and more, who offer 1:1 advice to Antler portfolio companies, giving them extra firepower to help fast-track their growth.

News
5 min read
Antler leads $5.1M pre-seed funding for 37 startups across Southeast Asia

This marks the highest number of pre-seed deals completed in a single round in the region.