Late last month, BSH Home Appliances, the largest appliance manufacturer in Europe, announced it had acquired a controlling interest in Kitchen Stories, maker of video-rich cooking apps with step-by-step instructions and recipes.
The deal is yet another sign of how large appliance makers are moving quickly to transform themselves into content companies and connect their appliances to digital content platforms.
In the announcement, the two companies said they had plans to integrate Kitchen Stories content into BSH’s smart home connectivity app and platform, Home Connect. While initial integration will start with basic tasks like temperature setting for Bosch and Siemens appliances, more capabilities like guided cooking will be built into the app over time.
Kitchen Stories cofounder Verena Hubertz outlined the vision around integration with the Home Connect platforms:
“This investment will enable us to tap the connected kitchen market, and to help design the cooking of the future. We’ll develop solutions to help users in all aspects of the cooking process – from inspirations for recipes to added-value services. And we’ll be combining our own findings with those of BSH about what consumers want. That will enable us to reflect users’ expectations better, and to make Kitchen Stories even more attractive. Kitchen Stories will also soon be integrated into the Home Connect ecosystem, and will gradually be expanded with new applications.”
This deal is the latest in a string of moves by appliance companies to more deeply integrate their cooking hardware with cooking content as the kitchen becomes increasingly digital. Earlier this year Whirlpool acquired Yummly as the kitchen entered what Whirlpool exec Brett Dibkey described as a ‘transformation.’ A new crop of startups like Hestan Cue, ChefSteps, SideChef, and Innit have been busily creating a variety of products that create immersive guided cooking offerings that connect with cookware and appliances, and this summer the media startup Buzzfeed moved into guided cooking with the launch of its Tasty One Top.
The deal caps what has been a few years of fast growth for Kitchen Stories, an early entrant into the video-guided cooking app space alongside others like SideChef. According to the company, the Kitchen Stories app now has millions of users and has been released in 150 countries worldwide.
Another interesting aspect of the deal is it marks a successful exit for a women-led company. Like many other tech segments, women have been under-represented in the smart kitchen, so hopefully the move is a sign of increasing momentum and encouragement for women-led startups in the space.
Lastly, the deal comes just over a month before CES, where big tech companies like Bosch often show off their latest products. I would expect to see the company at least showcasing Kitchen Stories early integration in Las Vegas.
You can see an interview with the two Kitchen Stores cofounders Verena Hubertz and Mengting Gao and BSH Chairman Karsten Ottenberg below: