Hot in the kitchen: Fresco raises $20m

Dublin business Fresco previously known as Drop is cooking up a storm.

Dublin smart kitchen player Fresco has raised $20m in a funding round led by three international kitchen appliance brands, including Vorkerk, Instant Brands and a third as yet unnamed backer.

All of the company’s existing venture investors also participated. The funding will be used to build a world-leading experience for the connected kitchen.

“Now through this Fresco platform, our partners are forming alliances across the whole kitchen, enabling the promise of the smart kitchen”

Smart kitchen appliance users are projected to reach 248 million worldwide by 2027, according to Statista. The Fresco KitchenOS platform is designed to facilitate the transition to that future for both appliance makers and users.

Recipe for success

Fresco connects any compatible appliance–across brands–so that cooks can focus on preparing meals. The company has adopted the “connects with Fresco” brand to certify appliances that can be controlled from smartphones, tablets, smart speakers, and smart home assistants. Consumers can use the Fresco app to guide their cooking to prepare better and more creative meals.

“We know that every kitchen has appliances from different brands. Now through this Fresco platform, our partners are forming alliances across the whole kitchen, enabling the promise of the smart kitchen,” said Fresco co-founder and CEO Ben Harris.

“To our appliance partners, Fresco provides end-to-end solutions to make any appliance smart: firmware; IoT modules; cloud services, and apps that pull it all together. Combined with the Fresco app, our step-by-step smart recipes inspire and guide home cooks to perfect results.”

The company, previously known as Drop, was founded in Dublni and by 2014 its first product the Drop Scale went on sale in the US and Canada. In 2016 the company forged its first partnership with appliance maker Bosch.

The Fresco app is live in 141 countries worldwide and the number of appliances connected by Fresco currently stands at 17m.

Future partners will also be given the opportunity to invest in Fresco. The first cohort of appliance partners to invest includes leading appliance brands: Instant Brands, maker of the iconic Instant Pot; Vorwerk, the company behind fan-favorite, all-in-one multicooker Thermomix TM6; and a third major appliance manufacturer to be announced later in the year. These preeminent appliance manufacturers are investing in the Fresco KitchenOS because they believe the company is positioned to make the promise of the smart kitchen a reality.

“Instant Brands and Fresco are working together to develop innovative breakthroughs in the kitchen, and beyond,” said Ben Gadbois, CEO and President of Instant Brands. “This investment deepens our partnership further and supercharges these initiatives.”

Fresco will use the investment proceeds for working capital to expand its workforce and invest in improvement in its digital platform and related applications.

Main image at top: Fresco co-founders Jonny McCauley, Ben Harris and Tim Redfern.

John Kennedy
Award-winning editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.