Terms of the Wellio deal were not disclosed, and it looks like the startup raised $3 million in venture funding. Wellio brings with it a team of engineers that are building an AI platform to help people discover, order and make fresh meals at home. Wellio is still in beta, and based on its website, the service reads almost like a customizeable meal kit. Users can browse recipes, order the necessary ingredients to be delivered same-day, and get on-demand support when cooking, all for around $5 – $9 per serving.
Kraft Heinz’s new digital hub is part of its evolv group, which is tasked with creating “digitally powered business models and launch[ing] other entrepreneurial ideas to fuel growth for Kraft Heinz.” The evolv group helps support the similarly-named-but-separate Evolve Ventures, which is the food tech venture fund Kraft Heinz committed $100 million to just last month. Evolve Ventures is focused on investing in supply chain, logistics, direct-to-consumer projects, and e-commerce startups.
The question now is whether Kraft Heinz will continue on with the wellio product as it was progressing, or will it integrate its AI capabilities into more Kraft Heinz-centric products and offerings.
As we’ve noted, a lot of big food brands are getting into the tech venture game. Chicken giant Tyson has a venture arm, grocery chain Albertsons launched a fund with Greycroft Ventures, and there are a host of other CPG companies with their own incubators.
To get a sense of what Kraft Heinz is getting with wellio, check out this panel discussion on “Applying AI To The World of Food and Cooking” from our Smart Kitchen Summit 2017, featuring Erik Andrejko, CTO of Wellio.