Yummly has raised $1.85 million in its Series A round of funding, gaining investment from Harrison Metal Capital, Intel Capital, First Round Capital and existing angel investors. The semantic recipe search and recommendation platform will be using the funds to grow its engineering team and develop new features.
Founded last year, Yummly launched its public version earlier this spring, combining personalization tools with user-driven sharing mechanisms in order to contextualize your search experience around food. It’s a great tool for folks like me that like odd food combos, like mac & cheese with honey, or corn flake-encrusted French toast. I can search for recipes of interest, modify them according to my tastes, and Yummly’s other users get to benefit from my organization of site recipes.
The funding comes on the tail of Yummly’s site updates, which include user-submitted recipes, curated menus and specialized searches for the holiday season. Yummly’s recent updates also include new bookmarking options, so you can save recipes for later viewing without necessarily saving them to your favorites (like a recipe taste test).
Moving forward, however, Yummly is looking to develop these features further, adding aggregation and search capabilities beyond the handful of top recipe sites currently included in its semantic exploration tools. This will incur some new ingredients for Yummly on the media front, where curation, promotion and search congregate around individualized tastes.
To aid in the development of Yummly’s foodie take on media is the company’s new board member, angel investor Marcia Hooper. She’s an avid food lover and east coast resident, bringing a unique take on traditional and new media forms, as they pertain to Yummly’s growth in particular.
Yummly’s also gaining Harrison Metal Capital’s Michael Dearing for its board of directors, where his brilliance “from a product perspective and helps us provide clarity on building great products for consumers,” David Feller, cofounder and CEO of Yummly, tells me in an interview. “He’s had tons of success doing that,” Feller goes on, noting that both new board members are “awesome in different ways.”
From Intel Capital’s investment perspective, it’s certainly interesting to see some of the recent areas of interest for the venture branch, which has recently included social gaming, among others. Semantic search, as it pertains to Yummly’s consumer niche, is a new approach towards giving consumers access to re-organized, hand-selected content, based on their own preferences. With Yummly’s goals around social and mobile networks, it’s evident that this search tool has aims at enabling a specialized utility for consumers, in an era where such utility apps can be a prized possession.
“With its inventive and user friendly platform, Yummly is changing how people search for food and recipes,” said Mike Buckley, managing director, Intel Capital. “Our investment in Yummly is indicative of Intel Capital’s ongoing commitment to back technologies and solutions that represent the leading edge of innovation and will play a significant role in how end users interact with the Internet in the future.”