Today Drop, the San Francisco and Dublin based smart kitchen platform startup, announced that it had raised $13.3 million in Series A funding co-led by Alpha Edison and Morpheus Ventures.
The funding brings the company’s total funding to just over $20 million.
As with the company’s last funding round, Drop indicated they plan to use the funding to continue building out its core platform, but this time with a heavy focus developing the consumer experience.
“The kitchen is a mix of motors, heating elements and fragmented interfaces,” said Ben Harris, the CEO of Drop. “Someone walking into a new kitchen has to relearn all of those different pieces. We believe there is a need for a incredibly intuitive experience that pulls all of those together into one unified experience where you can go from your Thermomix to your GE oven, from your Instant Pot to your LG fridge.”
As part of the investment, the company also announced they will welcome two new members to their board: Steve Horowitz, partner at Alpha Edison, and Ray Musci, managing director at Morpheus Ventures.
Horowitz is a particularly interesting addition given his background as lead engineer for Android during its early days. Drop has long talked about building a kitchen OS (they actually own the domain kitchenos.com), something Horowitz clearly has experience in.
I asked Horowitz if he saw parallels between those early smartphone market and today’s kitchen space and he told me did.
With the iPhone and Android, phone makers saw “there is really a better way to do this,” said Horowitz. “I think Drop is in a very similar position.”
The funding news comes a week after Tovala announced a $20 million series B. The two funding announcements show that, despite a pandemic, investors see significant opportunity for innovation in the consumer kitchen.
I asked Harris about this and why interest in the digitization of the consumer kitchen is so strong today.
Appliance makers, grocers and other kitchen industries have seen their business “move from retail to online,” said Harris. “The importance of digital experiences has dramatically increased. That’s the only way that a brand can now have a touch point.”
Harris said he believes the COVID-19 crisis has accelerated the kitchen and cooking industry’s move online “by close to five years”.