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Smart-kitchen tech company Drop rebrands as Fresco

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Fresco co-founder and CEO Ben Harris

Fresco co-founder and CEO Ben Harris

Fresco co-founder and CEO Ben Harris

Drop, the Dublin-based smart-kitchen tech company founded by Ben Harris that has raised over €20m, has rebranded as Fresco.

The move comes as the company, which operates from Dublin and Spain, attempts to solidify its business as a tech partner for the world’s biggest kitchen brands.

"Drop was a great name for a physical product, but we pivoted to become a smart kitchen platform, providing end-to-end solutions to make appliances connected, from firmware development to IoT expertise and an app that pulls all the appliances together. As a result, we needed a brand that better represented this," said Fresco co-founder and CEO Ben Harris.

Fresco can be used to control dozens of different appliance models from brands like Bosch, Electrolux, GE Appliances, Kenwood and LG Electronics.

Meanwhile, a number of Irish tech and biotech startups have announced seed or further funding rounds in recent days. Biologit, a drug safety startup spun out of Trinity College, has raised €1m from private investors. Founded by Nicole Baker and Bruno Ohana, the company is developing an artificial intelligence system to deal with high volumes of scientific and medical literature, with the aim of being able to generate reports.

Elsewhere, a Dublin-based networking startup, Pineapple, also raised €1m. The company, co-founded by Oliver Cruise and David Diamond, is being positioned as a ‘Generation Z’ alternative to Linkedin.

Separately, the ‘gifting platform’ company &Open announced €2m in venture debt from Silicon Valley Bank.

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Founded by designer Jonathan Legge, private equity specialist Mark Legge and fashion retailer Ciara Flood, &Open currently employs around 50 people but is currently scaling up to employ over twice that figure.

The company allows customers to pick gifts which can then be delivered to thousands of recipients. At the start of this year, it was sending 35,000 gifts per week, up from 3,500 per week in mid-2021.

One of the company’s pitches is that gifts can be scheduled ahead of time to coincide with birthdays, anniversaries or other occasions. This, the firm says, “frees up your teams for real time customer matters”.

Meanwhile, a new Dublin-based startup co-founded by Conor Deegan, Finn Murphy and Nev Flynn aims to offer more security in the emerging economy in non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Called Pfpid, the company has developed non-transferable NFTs that are attached to a user's Ethereum (crypto-currency) wallet. A user only receives their NFT after a ‘know your customer’ process. The system is aimed at helping verification processes in online interactions.

Mr Murphy is a partner at Frontline Ventures, while Mr Flynn works at Shane Curran’s encryption firm Evervault. Mr Deegan is currently completing an MSc in Computer Science.


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