Plant Jammer, a four-year-old Danish startup building an AI-powered cooking assistant, is one step closer to its goal of reaching one billion people, thanks to a €4 million investment in its AI recipe algorithm and platform. The Copenhagen-based company plans to expand its presence in the digital food space by licensing its API to third parties who can build branded customized experiences for their customers.
The new injection of capital comes from Danish investment firm Vaekstfonden, German food processing company Dr. Oetker, and German appliance manufacturer Miele. Miele had previously invested in Plant Jammer in 2018.
”Plant Jammer’s combination of recipe creation with AI is both unique and functional. We expect that this technology will be a core pillar in the connected kitchen of the future. Therefore, we believe Plant Jammer has great business potential,” says Dr. Christian Zangs, Managing Director of Miele Venture Capital.
Plant Jammer’s application, already in use by 10,000 households in Europe, allows users to build customized recipes by factoring in their individual preferences and what they may have in their home or what may be on sale in the local supermarket. While the app is focused on plant-based and vegetarian creations, partners who license the platform are not limited to those options. The database also contains food choices that include animal products and dairy; the PlantJammer app chose not to surface those results allowing the company to focus its version on a select niche.
In an interview with The Spoon, CEO and founder Michael Haase explained that partners who license the Plant Jammer’s API will pay based on the number of “calls” or accesses by users. For example, a grocery chain in Sweden can use the Plant Jammer API to develop a branded application such as a chatbox, that could include such extras as a link to online shopping. Each time a user of that third-party application builds a recipe, based on ingredients, tastes, diet, or any number of factors, the PlantJammer AI-driven database would work behind the scenes to deliver the results.
“I like to think of the analogy of the gold rush,” Haase adds. “We are interested in being the supplier of the jeans and shovels that enable others to do their jobs better.”
Personalized data from commercial partners will not be shared with Plant Jammer, but those partners can pass on generalized information via tags to allow the Haase’s company to continue to innovate on its platform. There are several areas Haase hopes to develop focused around food waste and the increased use of the excess capacity of local farmers and vendors.
Initially, the company founder says, the goal is to focus on food waste in the home. Haase says that 50% of all food waste takes place in the home, so we want people to build recipes based on what they already have in their refrigerator or cupboard.
“Our declared purpose is to empower one billion people with food habits that increase their health and the health of the planet,” Haase added.
That said, Haase admits his goal is a lofty one. “Right now, we are in a world of what I would call ‘trickle-down gastronomy’,” he says. “There is a huge divide between those whose world is focused on things such as molecular gastronomy and the masses. If we can show people that you can make something great in 25 minutes with simple ingredients, that would be great.”