Chefling, a kitchen app that connects what food you have with recipes and shopping lists, has raised $1 million in funding. According to a report in VentureBeat, the money will be used to for to hire marketing people, data scientists and a chef.
With the Chefling app, users can scan barcodes or take a picture of their receipt to monitor what foods they have in their fridge and pantry (an keep tabs on when that food will expire). Based on your food inventory, Chefling’s smart cookbook will then recommend recipes you can make. If you are missing any ingredients, Chefling automatically creates a shopping list for you and as you check these items off this list, the app keeps track of the new food available for newer recipe recommendations. Chefling works with Alexa and Google Home so users can ask for recipes or add grocery items to the list just by talking.
Chefling was created by a group of Northwestern grad students, and they were part of our Smart Kitchen Summit Startup Showcase last October. You can see their demo pitch on how Chefling works in this video:
The nexus of food on hand, recipes and shopping is fast becoming a hot market with a number of entrants. LG and Samsung showed off smart refrigerators at this past CES that let you keep track of food and offer up recipes. Recipe app Innit lets you alter recipes based on different ingredients you already have. Smart tag Ovie keeps track of when your food will go bad and makes meal recommendations. Additionally, Flexy and AllRecipes are making shoppable recipes a reality by integrating with Amazon.
It’s also interesting that Chefling is hiring an actual Chef. In the VentureBeat report, the company says the chef “will be hired to curate and improve upon tens of thousands of recipes Chefling draws from food bloggers.” This perhaps points to the limitations of relying solely on algorithms and scraping websites for recipe recommendations. Or, just as Innit hired celebrity chef Tyler Florence, maybe Chefling will bring on their own celebrity chef to boost its visibility in a crowded space.
Chefling’s investment was from Chicago-based XVVC LLC, and brings the total amount raised by the company to $1.2 million.