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Edamam Leverages the Power of Technology to Help People Eat Better

iPhone and Android mobile recipe search for today's mobile and health-conscious consumer

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Please tell us, what is Edamam is all about and what do you do?

Penev: Edamam is about food. It's about leveraging the power of technology to help people eat better. We believe that if people had better access to food knowledge, they'll make smarter choices about what to eat, where to buy it, how to cook it and so on. So, we have set ourselves the ambitious goal of organizing all the food's knowledge in the world.

Xenia: What are you launching at Demo?

Penev: We are launching a recipe search that actually works for today's mobile, health-conscious consumer. It saves lots of time by smartly bringing high quality recipes with compelling photography to the top. It allows filtering and comparing based on nutrition and diet; and, it has a convenient shopping list a tap away. In short makes is fun and easy and quick to find what to cook on the go and get shopping right away. So, no more improvisation while in the grocery store or at the green market.

Xenia: Who is your target audience and how do you intend to reach them? What is the biggest challenge you face right now in telling your story and winning over new clients?

Penev: The core audience are foodies who have no time, cook a lot and care quite a bit about what they eat and how food affects their health. They tend to be young, urban, mobile, well-educated and technology-savvy.

SYS-con: I'd be curious to hear any general thoughts you have on market trends...

Penev: There are three mega trends that put wind in our sails:

1. People care more and more about food - they cook more and they are more health conscious

2. Data is growing in importance about everything in the digital world and being able to handle messy data (food is very messy and disorganized) the way we do is a great asset

3. Mobile becomes a way of life, so doing mobile-first user experience and design is an advantage

Xenia: What is the viral aspect of your product?

Penev: We think food is something that naturally lends itself to sharing. Actually, food is about sharing on a very primal level. We think we can build content assets and social scenarios, which would lead people to share their food experiences.

Xenia: How will you make money? What's the business model?

Penev: The business model is transaction based. As we are still building the paid product elements, we are not disclosing more at present. Suffice it to say that lots of money is left on the table when food is involved. Apart from spending $700 billion on groceries annually in the US, people also buy cooking tools, cookbooks, cooking classes, tasting trips and so much more. We think some of this activity can and will become digital and we are positioning ourselves to get a share of it.

Xenia: Who are your competitors?

Penev: At present -- Google, Bing, Foodily, Yummly

Xenia: How do you differentiate from your competitors?

Penev: We are building a knowledge platform, which is not limited to one application, such as recipe search. We started with a recipe search because this is a must have in the food space, but we believe that the platform we are building can power for example virtual nutritionists, digital chefs, smart stoves, grocery shopping assistants and much more.

Xenia: How does your technology differentiate from the competition and can you elaborate on the different technology deployed?

Penev: We focus on structuring and organizing data and knowledge. Other companies do the same, but the ones that do it successfully are very few. It is also, about successfully marrying powerful back-end technology with compelling user interface. We think we excel at that.

Xenia: What business or technology could yours disrupt?

Penev: We think we can change the way people consume food knowledge and how they shop for food and cook. All businesses and antiquated technologies along the way are ripe for disruption - food and health related media, grocery shopping, cooking devices. We think we can make in impact in every of these areas and more.

Xenia: Who founded the company, when? What can you tell me about the story of the company's founding?

Penev: I am the founder - Victor Penev. After selling successfully my last start-up, I was looking for something new to do. One day, while on a beach in Thailand, I realized I think about food or cook 4-5 hours each day. I also know technology. It was an easy connection: combining food and technology, really combined two of my great passions and is unbeatable. Now, I work everyday with super smart engineers and with professional cooks. It's a dream come true!

Xenia: What is your distribution model? Where to buy your product?

Penev: Our first product - recipe search - is available as an app on iTunes and Google Play. It also exists as a web-site that is optimized for tablet consumptions too. But, being a platform, we have an API that allows business partners to use some of what we have built, so we distribute via business partners as well.

Xenia: What's next on your product roadmap?

Penev: Next will be what we call "Recipes in the Cloud." It will users to save recipes, menus and shopping lists on one device and use them everywhere on any device. It's a feature that seems to be needed by our consumer. Major new products are planned for 6-9 months from now.

Xenia: Are you targeting a first VC round? If yes when and what will you use the funds for? How much money is being sought?

Penev: We would like to get money from angels that will come and share fully the risk with us. For our next round, we'll be looking for something in the $1.5-2 million range.

Twitter @EdamamCo

Website: www.Edamam.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/edamam

 

More Stories By Xenia von Wedel

Xenia von Wedel is a Tech blogger and Enterprise Media Consultant in Mountain View, serving clients in a variety of industries worldwide. She is focused on thought leadership content creation and syndication, media outreach and strategy. She mainly writes about Enterprise, B2B solutions, social media and open source software, but throws the occasional oddball into the mix. Buy her a coffee if you like her article: http://xeniar.tip.me