Panna, First Digital Cooking Magazine, Secures $1.35 Million In Funding

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Panna will use these funds to expand the reach of its cutting edge video cooking magazine connecting home cooks to celebrity chefs, and build additional premium culinary content and retail offerings.

Panna is the future of home cooking.

Panna (http://pannacooking.com/), named one of the Best Apps of 2012, is a highly-curated video cooking magazine where users can easily cook along with celebrity chefs in their own kitchens.

Today, Panna, which launched this past November, announced that it has secured $1.35 million in first round funding. The funding was led by Anthem Ventures. Other investors include Lerer Ventures, Crosslink Ventures, Maveron, Shari Redstone's Advancit Capital, RSL Venture Partners, Launchpad LA, David Tisch's BoxGroup, Rick J. Caruso, Ken Siskind, Jay Livingston, Dan Rose, Aaron Schiff and David Levy.

Panna’s creator is former entertainment industry executive, David Ellner. Ellner spent the last 25 years in media including positions as the President of Digital and Business Development for 19 Entertainment, home to hit television series American Idol, and as the Executive Vice President of Global Digital Initiatives at Universal Music Group. With Panna, Ellner uses his expertise in content and digital technology to create high-definition video content that’s designed so that home cooks can follow along.

"David's built an incredible product, as is evidenced by the traction with consumers, top notch chefs, and Apple. We're excited to work with him and a stellar group of co-investors to build on that, and believe that Panna is building a tremendous brand that will resonate with a huge global audience of food lovers digitally and beyond,“ says William Woodward, partner at Anthem Ventures. In fact, Panna has been named Editor’s Choice by Apple following the iPad and iPhone releases, and has received various holiday home page placements in the App Store.

Ellner’s frustrations as a home cook sparked the idea for Panna, making it a product truly built from the ground up with the home cook in mind. “Cookbooks are great but I always found myself wanting more. I wondered if the recipes came out the way the chef intended.” Panna aims to answer that question by hosting an array of chefs under one digital roof, presenting the home cook with a pro at their side.

“Panna is the future of home cooking,” says Jonathan Waxman (Barbuto), one of several pros in Panna’s line-up of chefs. “We have captured recipes that not only can provide step by step explanations, but embedded in our movies are terrific tips on shopping, ingredients, technique, chef's secrets, favorite equipment and all the tools necessary to create wonderful meals.”

Other chefs include Rick Bayless (Frontera Grill and Top Chef Masters Winner); Sean Brock (Husk, McCrady’s); Melissa Clark (NY Times food writer and recipe developer); Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirscheimer (Canal House Cooking); Anita Lo (Annisa and Top Chef Masters); Seamus Mullen (Boqueria, Tertulia); Chad Sarno (Health Starts Here Senior Culinary Educator, R&D Chef); Nancy Silverton (Osteria Mozza); and Michael Tusk (Cotogna, Quince). Panna has also secured partnerships with key brands like Sur La Table to include new chef segments on cooking equipment.

Participating chefs were asked to submit their favorite recipes from their repertoires. For example, here’s a short teaser from one of Jonathan Waxman’s favorite desserts, his Tarte Aux Pommes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbqnuQ7Cn9M. With home kitchens and backyard grills as sets and backdrops for each video, the chefs demonstrate step-by-step cooking technique for the 47 recipes in the app, thus far. Each recipe is simple, impressive and guaranteed to work. Even the more difficult recipes, such as piecrusts, are broken down so that they’re easy to execute.

"We've been blown away by David's ability to get a lot done with very few resources, which makes this cash infusion so exciting,” says Ben Lerer, managing director at Lerer Ventures. “Panna's already a beautiful product with awesome talent attached to it and the sky is now the limit."

Download Panna on the App Store here: http://goo.gl/lEjv6

What’s Coming
Funds from this round will be used to scale up the company by expanding the team, producing new content and ramping up sales and marketing efforts. Panna recently launched a new shopping list function on the iPhone, which will be available for the iPad in the next month. Panna is currently expanding the app to the Android platform and investing in mobile advertising. The next issue, set to release in June, will be a summer issue featuring live fire Mexican grilling recipes from Rick Bayless.

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