The Dublin-based smart kitchen software firm Drop has raised €11.8m in a new funding round to back its plan to become ‘the Android’ of kitchen appliances.
It brings Ben Harris’s company to around €20m in funding, following a €7m round in 2018 and €1.5m in 2015.
The company’s financial backers in its latest round are led by Californian venture capital firms Alpha Edison and Morpheus Ventures with participation from Irish venture firm ACT Venture Capital, as well as existing investors Alsop Louie Partners, Richmond Market Ventures and Digital Irish Angels.
While the company started out with a smart weighing scales that connected to an iPad, it now wants to become a digital platform that all kitchen appliances connect to.
To this end, the head of the engineering team that created Android, Steve Horowitz, has joined Drop’s board of directors. Mr Horowitz is a partner at Alpha Edison.
“In the same way Android armed an industry to compete in the smartphone game, Drop is primed to be the platform that all brands operate on, fundamentally changing the way we use technology in the kitchen,” said Mr Horowitz.
Drop has developed partnerships with Bosch, Electrolux, GE Appliances, Panasonic, Kenwood and LG Electronics.
It says that over 100 different appliance models from brands like these can now be controlled from its Drop Kitchen OS platform and the Drop Recipes app.
“Kitchens are a mix of motors, sensors and heating elements, with wildly different interfaces,” said Ben Harris, CEO and co-founder at Drop. “Drop’s platform brings software and hardware together harmoniously, allowing our partners to get to market faster, bypassing the cost of developing the robust infrastructure needed to deliver a UX that delights and makes perfect cooking simple.”
Mr Harris’s mother, Elaine O'Hora, founded the Munchies chain of outlets in Dublin. His father, Peter Harris, also set up restaurants as well the courier company Pony Express.
Drop has offices in Dublin, San Francisco and Zaragoza, Spain.