Kitchenbug will not only tell you where to find your favorite recipes, but also how those recipes’ nutritional value measure up to your dietary needs
This post was originally published on Geektime.co.il as part of Geektime’s Windows Azure accelerator program coverage
Most people love to eat; especially good, delicious and healthy food. There are so many cooking shows, on and offline, as well as recipe sites that cater to food lovers, but often these sites are dependent on advertisers and publishers with their own agendas. For example, if you have an interest in a particular recipe and you find this recipe online, often the website publisher will tell you that such and such a recipe takes 15 minutes of preparation and is rich in protein and iron etc., but they won’t tell you about the negatives, like if it’s also high fat and cholesterol.
What the ingredients mean
Even with websites advertising the nutritional value of specific recipes, most users don’t know how to translate the meaning of these values into a practical understanding of how it will impact our bodies. Should people eat this dish if they suffer from heart problems, or should they look for something else that would suit them better? Will this recipe compliment an active lifestyle or not, etc.?
Kitchenbug was founded in April of 2012 by Ofir Shachar – himself a graduate of Israeli culinary school Bishulim, Dror Daliot and Tal Rosenberg. Kitchenbug is a Web based platform that allows users to search for and store recipes from anywhere online, analyze the ingredients and advise as to whether it meets the standard and criteria of the user’s culinary needs. According to the founders, Kitchenbug is different from rival recipe sites like Evernote Food and Ziplist in that Kitchenbug analyses recipe ingredients and relays the practical nutritional implications to the user.
Like a number of other data mining solutions – for example Numbeez, which we recently wrote about here – Kitchenbug relies on a Bookmarklet button that allows users to add recipes to their profile, simply by clicking on the button at the top of their browser whenever they come across a recipe of interest. After filling up their profiles with recipes, users can login to their profile to sort through and analyze their recipes based on interest or nutritional makeup.
According to Founders Dror and Tal, recipes are the second largest category of online search. However, most users currently store their favorite recipes on their computer, smartphone or tablet and require a separate app to collate all the information together. The very fact that Kitchenbug can perform the above action while analyzing the recipes themselves, may be the key to fulfilling the company’s growth potential.
Currently the service is available only in English and only as a Web application, but smartphone and tablet versions are in development. In addition to the future release of mobile versions, Kitchenbug reveals plans for features that include the ability to take pictures of recipes from smartphones for cataloging, as well as offering users the ability to take pictures of prepared dishes from which the system will be able to decipher its component ingredients.
$700K is just beginning to taking on the recipe sites
The company’s business model is based on two main revenue streams similar to that of Facebook’s advertising mode. One is the promotion of products; if a particular company wants to promote a certain product it can do so by registering its own recipes and promoting from within the site. The second model is the promotion of products within the recipes themselves. For example, if the user clicks on a certain type of cheese, it will show relevant information about the company marketing the same type of cheese. The company also offers an API payment system that allows access to the platform and the content of the company by third-party applications.
Alon explained that the company has already raised nearly $700K in seed funding from a number of private investors including Roni Einav – who served as chairman and CEO of New Dimension Israel which was sold to BMC for $675M, and Moshe Alon – whose previous investments include Sensegon, among others. Alon told Geektime, “We chose to invest in Kitchenbug mainly because the team combines people who are not only technological, but also understand and love the market, and therefore know how to move the company forward.