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Wheelings & Dealings: Smart Kitchenware Company Attracts $1.2 Million in Seed Funding

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Wheelings & Dealings: Smart Kitchenware Company Attracts $1.2 Million in Seed Funding


January 20, 2014

By Michelle Nicolson, TMCnet Contributing Writer

The Orange (News - Alert) Chef Company, developer of smart technology–enabled home kitchen products, announced that the company has secured $1.2 million in seed funding.

The funding came from several sources, including Google (News - Alert) Ventures and SparkLabs Global Ventures as well as Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, Kima Ventures, The Social+Capital Partnership, Graph Ventures and several angel investors. The company did not release financial terms.

"We're very excited to have such amazing partners that share our mission of making the kitchen a place of confidence and discovery," said Santiago Merea, The Orange Chef Company's founder and chief executive officer. "With their support, we will continue to grow our team and aggressively ramp up our product development."

Launched in 2011, the Orange Chef Company develops kitchen tools that integrate smart technology. The latest is its Prep Pad, which is an iOS-enabled Bluetooth food scale, set for distribution in February 2014.

According to the Orange Chef, the Prep Pad provides real-time nutritional information for all raw ingredients and scannable food items. The food scale reportedly allows users to visually obtain the full macro and micro-nutritional profiles of ingredients and meals as they create them, while saving to a personal profile. Users also have the option to then share their creations socially via Facebook (News - Alert), Twitter, Pinterest and Evernote.

"I am very excited by our investment in The Orange Chef. Their smart food scale is one of those rare products that gets a WOW reaction from everyone we've shown it to," said Frank Meehan, co-founder and general partner of SparkLabs Global, "At SparkLabs Global we see tremendous global potential for The Orange Chef as they lead the way in the tech revolution of the massive food sector.”

Smart technology in the home is a nascent market opportunity, with consumers just now becoming aware of new products.

"The tablet and the phone … have changed consumers' expectations of how they interact with other devices," said Warwick Stirling, senior director of connectivity and sustainability at Whirlpool, in a USA Today article. Whirlpool and other appliance companies are exploring smart technology, although mostly in terms of large kitchen appliances.

"Ten years ago, people weren't sure why they wanted to be connected,” Stirling continued. “Now, people don't understand why they're not connected; they just assume that they should be. We could see a scenario, more likely within 10 years, where the majority of appliances are connected."

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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