Kitchen Voice AI Platform Tinychef Acquires Meal-Planning App Zelish
Voice-first culinary AI startup Tinychef (formerly Klovechef) has begun acquiring meal-planning app Zelish for an undisclosed sum. The India-based Tinychef will augment its current features with its new acquisition’s own innovations while scooping up Zelish’s customer base and opening the door to accelerating its growth in North America beyond what was previously feasible.
Cooking Up A Deal
Tinychef offers a conversational voice app supported by Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa that guides users through picking out a recipe, listing and purchasing ingredients, and cooking a meal. The AI talks through Google and Amazon smart speakers, smart displays and their respective mobile apps to recommend recipes and leads them through the process of identifying and buying ingredients to prep the meal and cook it. The AI learns what users like over time and gets better at suggesting new ideas that the user would enjoy. Zelish isn’t so focused on voice but has a mobile app for meal planning, shopping, and cooking garnered from well-known chefs and other celebrities.
“As a pioneer in voice-first solutions on smart speakers for consumers in the kitchen, adding smartphones was the natural next step for us so that we become truly a ‘device agnostic’ smart kitchen assistant. ‘I am super excited to bring Zelish into Tinychef’, would be an understatement given the potential of the combined solution, team and partnerships that we bring together,” Tinychef co-founder Bahubali Shete said. “I am really bullish that we will make Tinychef as the default kitchen assistant for every kitchen around the world.”
Tinychef can boast more than a million customers, but the vast majority are in India. Canadian-born Zelish has only about an eighth of that userbase but counts 35% of them as active monthly users, a crucial metric for consumer-focused activities like cooking. North America has been a goal for Tinychef for a while. The company cited expanding into North America as part of why it closed a $1 million funding round late last year, reaching more than $2 million in funding in all. For the Zelish team, the value of the deal is in the voice-guided option Tinychef brings to the table. The hands-free service is frequently requested by Zelish users, who will now find it easier to continue or even deepen their use of the combined culinary AI.
“We are thrilled to expand the vision of our tech-first platform Zelish to become a voice-guided assistant thanks to Tinychef,” Zelish co-founder Rakesh Edavalath said. “Most people who manage the kitchen complain that there is a constant back and forth between operating their phones and managing the said tasks. People will soon be able to relish the Zelish experience on voice assistants like Alexa instead of going back and forth on recipe videos.”