Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Panna Cooking App Gets Traction, Funding

PannaAppType “cooking” into the search field in Apple’s App Store, and you’ll get more than 3,700 results.

But that didn’t stop David Ellner from launching Panna, a “digital cooking magazine” on the platform last year.

Now Ellner, a former music executive, has convinced investors that he’s on to something: He has raised a $1.35 million round, led by Anthem Ventures. Other investors include Lerer Ventures, Crosslink Ventures, Howard Schultz’s Maveron and Shari Redstone’s Advancit Capital.

Panna’s pitch is simple: A pure-play cooking publication, combining high-gloss photos and high-end videos, featuring lots of famous chefs, like Rick Bayless and Jonathan Waxman. New apps come out every couple months, and cost $5 apiece; a year’s subscription costs $15.

So far, Ellner has produced four issues, and won’t release sales or download numbers. But apparently they are good enough to round up an A round. Earlier this year, he added an iPhone version to compliment his original iPad launch; an Android edition is in the works.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald