Drop, a smart kitchen platform that is setting out to unify what it calls the “fragmented cooking experience,” has secured $13.3 million in a series A round of funding.
The raise comes as consumers continue to invest in countless contraptions to connect their home to the internet, from video doorbells to refrigerators infused with computer vision. The smart kitchen market specifically was pegged as a $14.5 billion market in 2019, a figure that could more than double within five years.
Drop is a platform aimed at connecting appliance manufacturers, recipe publishers, and grocers to those who like to cook at home. Founded out of Ireland in 2012, Drop was originally a hardware company, developing a connected kitchen scale which was sold globally through Apple Stores — the company pivoted in 2015 to more of a software company, with the promise of “connecting all stages of the cooking journey.” Today, that includes a mobile app containing recipes, but with a difference — Drop partners with myriad appliance makers, including Bosch, Kenwood GE Appliances, and Electrolux to tightly integrate recipes with kitchen equipment.
“We are building the one app that orchestrates all smart kitchen appliances, and delivering the full stack IoT (internet of things) platform under the hood for the appliances to work seamlessly in that world,” Drop CEO Ben Harris told VentureBeat.
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In real terms, this means that besides Drop’s clients across mobile, web, and voice, it works closely on all the technologies required to make smartphones play ball with home appliances, including IoT firmware, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth, while giving companies data insights on how consumers are using appliances and content (recipes).
Users add appliances to their Drop profile, and the app then “rewrites” the recipe to suit the tools and appliances that a user has in their kitchen, which is also entirely localized to their region. The Drop “translation engine” converts a recipe so that the appliance understands it, such as cups vs. fluid ounces or grams vs. millilitres. Drop also sends the correct temperatures, cooking times, and settings directly to a connected appliance to ensure the food is cooked according to the recipe’s instructions.
Prior to now, Drop had raised around $8 million, and with another $13.3 million in the bank the Dublin-based company has managed to nab some notable backers into the fray — the series A round was co-led by Los Angeles-based Alpha Edison, with partner Steve Horowitz now joining Drop’s board of directors — Horowitz left Microsoft in 2006 to spearhead Android development at Google. Morpheus Ventures also led the round, with managing director Ray Musci also now joining Drop’s board.
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