From Canva to Clove: AI recipe startup cooks up $4m raise

Entrepreneurs

They met while developing Canva’s disruptive marketplace program. Now, Anna Guerrero and Sam Killin are partnering to cook up a recipe sharing storm.
Anna Guerrero and Sam Killin met at Canva and are now baking up a storm with Clove, an AI-driven cooking platform.

In January this year, Anna Guerrero left her job as a VP at Aussie design decacorn Canva, and headed for the hills. And not just any old hills — Guerrero landed a plum job as a pasta chef in Italy’s Dolomite mountains. For seven months the former Sydneysider lived la dolce vita between two Michelin-star restaurants in the Alps, and the revered Alma cooking school in Parma within Italy’s ‘Food Valley.’

If Parma sounds familiar, it’s because it is the namesake and origin of the world-famous cheese ‘Parmigiano Reggiano,’ and the cured ham delicacy ‘Prosciutto di Parma.’ The city sits in the Emilia-Romagna region of Northern Italy, home to Massimo Bottura — Italy’s most celebrated chef.

Needless to say, Guerrero was in great culinary company on her self-described food-learning journey.

In July, she ventured back to Australian shores to put her learnings into practice and launch a new venture. And she knew just the guy to bring her food-vision-meets-tech-platform dreams to fruition.

Sam Killin describes himself as a mad hacker, coder and startup all-rounder. The backend engineer got to know Guerrero when they worked together on Canva’s disruptive marketplace program. Together, the two baked up Clove, and just five months in, Aussie VC fund Blackbird is already hungry for the opportunity.

“Canva has proven time and time again that building an incredible user-centric product is a winning strategy. Democratizing stock content at Canva was a hugely rewarding experience, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity and learnings, many of which will make discovering and cooking amazing recipes just as seamless and enjoyable,” says CEO Guerrero.

Having spent 8 years at Canva, most recently as the Head of Content and Discovery, Guerrero oversaw a team of 500 and spearheaded the company’s global organic acquisition and SEO strategy. Her LinkedIn bio discloses she was responsible for powering the content experience of templates, photography, audio, video and elements for free and paid users.

She is now taking that deep-bench of skills and applying them to create a marketplace for recipes.

“Many of the challenges with recipes today are directly related to the tools that creators have available to publish recipes, like blogs. They’re expensive, hard to use and require creators to work very hard to get discovered, which results in a poor experience for creators and home cooks alike,” says Clove CTO Killin.

“We’re excited about the technology that’s available to make both publishing and finding recipes effortless, and we’re looking forward to making it available,” says Killin.

Clove aspires to facilitate a billion recipes being cooked around the world. To achieve that, the company is expanding its team to include alumni from Milkrun and Amazon Groceries. The platform is now recruiting recipe creators and barreling toward a beta launch.

Blackbird partner Niki Scevak is looking forward to seeing the $4.15 million seed investment he facilitated sprout.

“Anna and Sam bring a unique combination of well-honed creative thinking, skill and ambition to Clove,” says Scevak. “They both have a deep understanding of what it takes to build a generational company with community at the heart, and we are proud and excited to back them.”

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