HomeFundingMadrid-based startup Velada cooks up €1 million to bring global food lovers...

Madrid-based startup Velada cooks up €1 million to bring global food lovers the best local experience

Shaking up both the food and travel sector, Madrid-based Velada has just raised €1 million for its next-gen restaurant guide and booking app. Curated by food critics and local tastemakers, the startup is aiming to serve up the best local, authentic experiences to global travellers and local explorers. 

Travelling to new destinations is a chance to explore different cultures, learn about new customs, enjoy authentic food and experience something a little bit different. For many travellers, one of the highlights of travelling is the food – from finding the best Parisian croissant to the most indulgent churros in Barcelona and even that local delicacy that might seem a little disconcerting at first. 

But, it’s not always so easy to find the best, local experiences – especially in tourist-laden cities. Spain, for example, is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world and it also has an incredibly high level of domestic travel. It’s a country that certainly has something on the menu for travelling foodies and each city has something different to offer – from Valencia to Madrid, the local plates are quite different. However, travellers often find themselves in tourist traps when it comes to their culinary experience – lacking an app or resource that offers a dedicated local guide.

Velada, born in Madrid, is aiming to provide that. The startup has just secured €1 million to expand. 

Alexandra Papadopoulos, Co-Founder and CEO: “This is why we created Velada. All of the typical lists of unmissable restaurants for tourists did not reflect the authentic and high-quality dining that Spanish cities have to offer.” 

“Dining in Barcelona is not the same as dining in Valencia or Mallorca, so we ensure our critics are experts in their regions so travellers can enjoy the local specialities and culture.” 

The funding attracted international investment, including private investments from Jesús Mantas, Global Managing Partner at IBM, and Francesco De Rubertis, partner and co-founder of Medicxi Ventures and former partner of Index Ventures.

Velada was created by Alexandra Papadopoulos and her partner David Martin Suarez (now CPO) in Madrid as they found themselves constantly asked for restaurant recommendations by friends across the world. People wanted to travel to Spain and they wanted to have a local culinary experience whilst doing so. 

Alexandra added: “Velada is the first restaurant guide to carefully curate and categorize every restaurant featured in the app to ensure the most local authentic experience. We also have a proprietary algorithm that utilizes data based on our users’ preferences and behaviour in the app to make personalized recommendations for them thus making Velada the first smart restaurant guide.”

Founded in 2021, the startup was selected as one of the top ten entrepreneurs by Culinary Action, the startup accelerator of the Basque Culinary Center 2021. The startup has also already received attention from renowned chefs and food experts in Spain

including Borja Beneyto, advisor to Velada as well as the author of Cuaderno Matoses and once a judge on Netflix’s international chef competition programme The Final Table. Currently, it counts over 1000 restaurant recommendations and has had 100k downloads since its launch. 

Borja Beneyto: “Velada is the first gastronomy platform of its kind to connect both domestic and international foodie travellers with the best dining experiences across Spain, from casual hidden tapas bars to Michelin restaurants. There is no other restaurant guide or app here that offers the level of relevant detail for each restaurant enabling travellers to discover dishes and places usually only known to locals.” 

Now, with this new funding, Velada plans to expand to more cities and begin to partner with brands and restaurants to bring its users more quality content, while the app’s growing community of local gourmands will be offered a subscription for premium services including a concierge service and invitations to exclusive events.

Patricia Allen
Patricia Allen
is the Head of Content at EU-Startups. With a background in politics, Patricia has a real passion for how shared ideas across communities and cultures can bring new initiatives and innovations for the future. She spends her time bringing you the latest news and updates of startups across Europe, and curating our social media.

Most Popular