After garnering over 3 million downloads on iOS, mobile cooking app Kitchen Stories has closed a $1.8 million seed round, including backing from Point Nine Capital, and Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments.
Founded by Mengting Gao and Verena Hubertz, who met during their studies at business school WHU, Kitchen Stories launched in early 2014 and is available for free on iPad and iPhone. It’s described as an “interactive cooking app” that serves up recipe videos, how-to guides, and easy to follow step-by-step photo instructions to help you get busy in the kitchen. Other features include a shopping list creator, timer, and a measurement converter.
“We believe the ideal cooking app still isn’t available on the market,” co-founder Verena Hubertz tells TechCrunch. “We aim to solve this by creating the most user-friendly app with all the features and information our users need to cook – regardless whether they’re an absolute beginner or already a hobby chef. Our motto is ‘anyone can cook’ and we want to take away the kitchen anxiety.”
To achieve this, Kitchen Stories currently has an emphasis on professionally produced content, and in particular, high quality photos and high quality video, something that is in contrast to the plethora of user-generated recipe sites, which often carry poor visuals and unwieldy text.
In addition, the app is localised in 12 languages. New recipes are added on a weekly basis, divided into different categories such as “Below 400 Calories”, “<20 Minutes”, and “Vegan”.
However, moving forward, it sounds like the Berlin-based startup does plan to harness more user-generated content, but in a way that doesn’t water down the app’s current appeal.
“We are launching our community early this year, ‘The Kitchen Stories Family’, where we allow food lovers around the world to connect. We will select the best recipes and re-shoot them in-house, with short recipe instructions and step-by-step photo instructions,” says Hubertz.
“If I live in the US and want to get the perfect recipe for Italian lasagna, then I do want to get the original one. Who better to ask than a dedicated hobby chef who cooks lasagna on a regular basis?”
Who better, indeed.
Along with Point Nine Capital, and Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, others participating in Kitchen Stories’ seed round include Cherry Ventures, Moritz Hohl and Verena Pausder (co-founders of Fox and Sheep), and Frederik Fleck.