Smart kitchen mystery startup Brava has raised more money.
First reported in Techcrunch, the company has raised an undisclosed amount that “more than doubles” its Series A of $12 million.
According to Techcrunch, the round was led by TPG Growth:
“TPG Growth led the round. Additional investors in the financing include The Rise Fund (which is TPG’s social impact fund), Lightspeed Venture Partners, Next Coast Ventures, Lead Edge Capital, DGNL Ventures, and earlier investors. Some of these include Chris Anderson, who runs the TED conference; Rob Reid, founder of the Rhapsody music service; and Cowboy Ventures’s founder Aileen Lee.”
So what do we know about Brava? For one, they’re making a smart oven. We broke this story at the Spoon a few months back when I stumbled upon a trademark filing by the company which described an electric countertop oven that featured automation, an internal camera for food recognition, a number of sensors to monitor “the functioning of the oven and the operation of automation systems of an oven.”
We also know they’ve assembled an executive that has drawn from the consumer electronics, entertainment and smart home industries. As I wrote back in October:
The company’s CEO is John Pleasants, a long-time entertainment and content CEO that has spent the majority of his career in interactive entertainment, including stints at Disney, Electronic Arts and, most recently, heading up Samsung’s content group. Just two months ago Variety wrote about Pleasants departure from Samsung and how it signaled the effective end of company’s media ambitions.
Brava’s other co-founders include Thomas Cheng, Brava’s COO, who previously helped lead hardware for smart home startup August, and Dan Yue, the company’s Chief Product Officer, who had worked at Playdom, a social gaming group within Disney, under Pleasants. Yue also was a co-founder of an organic meal kit delivery service, Green Chef, which makes him the only cofounder with food on their resume.
The rest of the team includes a mix of folks who either worked with Pleasants in the past at such stops as Playdom and other folks who cut their teeth at consumer IoT brands such as August Home.
It’s an interesting time to raise money for stealthy startup. The company has yet to ship its first generation product, but my sources tell me it expects to do so in the 2017. And while Techcrunch compares the device to Juicero, the comparison is a lazy one. Based on our research, we expect initial Brava appliances will be sub-$1000 and possibly even $500 since the company describes their product as priced for ““everyone” and not the “super-rich”.
One thing the company will likely use the additional funding for is to expand staff. The company’s website has no less than 12 positions listed, including positions that indicate the company is preparing to come out of stealth such as social media and video production leads.