Digital coupon giant Coupons.com is today announcing that it has acquired San Francisco-based KitchMe, a startup offering recipe saving, meal planning and shopping lists in a visual interface. The KitchMe application is now available online at www.kitchme.com, and it works on both desktop and mobile browsers. Both of KitchMe’s co-founders, Stella Kleiman and Gene Reddick, formerly of Sequoia-backed FoundValve and Floating Factory, have joined Coupons.com as a part of the deal. Terms of the acquisition were not immediately available.
KitchMe was founded in April 2011, and two previous co-founders have since departed. At the time of its acquisition, the bootstrapped startup was only a two-person team.
In case you’re wondering why you never heard of KitchMe until now, it’s because the company was acquired last year (Q2 2012) before it ever had a chance to publicly debut.
“We were immediately impressed with both the KitchMe product and the company,” Steven Boal, CEO of Coupons.com said. “KitchMe is unlike anything else we’ve seen, combining best-in-class meal planning, recipe discovery, shopping list creation and couponing capabilities in a single application. Not only did we acquire a great product but a talented team as well.”
Kleiman says that the service had no users, and what’s launching today is a new product. However, it has been in closed testing up until now with a few hundred participants.
As a part of Coupons.com, the app will be monetized through – not surprisingly – coupon distribution. These will be seamlessly integrated into the product, showing users the coupons that are available for various items and recipes in KitchMe. Users will also be able to browse a coupon gallery, as on the Coupons.com flagship site. Circular information from 200+ grocery stores across the U.S. is included as well.
In its online interface, KitchMe offers drag-and-drop meal planning, where either recipes or entire meals can be dragged onto a calendar, so you can plan meals for the day, week, month, or longer. The ingredients you need for those meals are then automatically added to your shopping list. The list is now being powered by the same technology that underpins GroceryIQ, a mobile shopping list app for iOS and Android that Coupons.com acquired back in 2009.
KitchMe currently offers thousands of recipes, but focuses only on those that are rated 4.5 stars or higher and can be prepared in 45 minutes or less, the company says. Recipes are sourced from a variety of sites, including Food.com, Food Network, and All Recipes, for example.
To get started with the service, you can sign up or connect via Facebook, then provide the site with your zip code and favorite grocery stores. The site even has a Pinterest-like look and feel to it, given its visual emphasis. You can then browse or search for recipes, plan, save and share meals to Facebook or Pinterest, look for local deals and coupons, print coupons, and more.
The site competes with a number of recipes and meal-planning services, including Evernote’s Food, Condé Nast’s ZipList, Yummly, Kitchenbug, Foodily, Gojee, mor.sl, (though no longer Punchfork), plus the big-name recipes sites themselves, such as Epicurious, AllRecipes, and Food Network, and many, many others.
KitchMe’s founders roles won’t really change following this deal – they will still head up and run the service, now under Coupons.com’s brand. Interested users can sign up here.