Business Irish

Wednesday 28 September 2016

Internet of Things pioneer Harris will seek to woo investors next year to accelerate growth at Drop

Published 01/11/2015 | 02:30

Drop chief executive Ben Harris will seek to woo investors early next year as the company seeks to grow faster
Drop chief executive Ben Harris will seek to woo investors early next year as the company seeks to grow faster

Drop chief executive Ben Harris will seek to woo investors early next year as the company seeks to grow faster.

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The Dublin and San Francisco-based company makes a cooking scale connected to a recipe app - the first in a series of planned products connected to the app - and raised $2m last summer.

Its backers include Shay Garvey's Frontline Ventures, San Francisco-based venture capitalists WI Harper, and the Innovation Works fund set up by the former head of Google China, Kai-Fu Lee.

Harris said the company was not yet willing to reveal how much money it will look to raise.

He said the money will be used to expand the team and accelerate the company's development.

He said the company wants to establish itself as "the recipe-based operating system for the kitchen".

"The hardware devices that we're creating at the minute retrofit into today's kitchens with a view to the smart products that the big kitchen appliance manufacturers are releasing over the next three to five years.

"We don't want to make all the kitchen appliances - we want to get to a place where our recipe platform is where you come to for controlling your whole smart kitchen."

Harris was a finalist in the 'Emerging Category' at this year's EY Entrepreneur of the Year competition.

He said of the Budget: "It was a missed opportunity on the entrepreneurial side of things, in terms of really incentivising more start-ups to set up and really understanding the levers that they can pull. They made some movements in the right direction, but nothing really substantial. We're so far behind the UK and so far behind the US."

Harris's company is a graduate of PCH boss Liam Casey's Highway One accelerator programme. The programme is designed to help early-stage hardware companies.

"He encouraged us in a big way. We were one of the first to be accepted into Highway One, which was just an amazing program. It lasted four months," Harris said last year.

"Since then, we've been over to China four times. We did the design for Drop and they made it in the factory."

Sunday Indo Business

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