Recipe Book is the brainchild of three techies who tried to solve a simple problem of recipe discovery in cooking using Artificial Intelligence, NLP (natural language processing) and image recognition. With several accolades and awards to their credit Recipe Book has almost 4 million downloads across 104 countries!
Give a brief info about your startup?
Our company is working on Artificial Intelligence for the last couple of years and had developed a deep learning computer vision technology which could be used for advanced image recognition techniques. We have used this technology in one of our Apps called Recipe Book.
“Recipe Book” – A popular Cooking App on Android Play store. It solves the recipe discovery problem with the help of artificial intelligence. The most prominent and distinguishing feature that made it stand apart from competitors is the “snap n cook feature”, where user clicks the image of an ingredient, and the app recognises and suggests the user best recipes which could be made out of that ingredient right away.
Recipe Book is the first APP from recipe-space to introduce deep learning and computer vision. It has got more than 4 million downloads across 104 countries.
Recipe Book is also bestowed with the honor of being picked as Google Play Editors’ Choice. This is the First Indian App to get Editors Choice in Google play store. Google awarded Recipe Book as one among the five most innovative app on play store in ‘Best of 2016’ and most daily helper app in “Best of 2018”
The startup was part of Google Launchpad Accelerator Program, San Francisco. Also recognized as Nasscom Emerge 50 and got Most innovative startup award 2018 from DST- ISBA startup awards.
The main component of deep learning system is data, Recipe Book users have uploaded around million images onto our platform which we have reused for training our system. Now we are ready with our Food Vision API for developers.
The company has developed the world’s first dedicated food vision API for recognising and understanding food items called Psyight. It can be used for building computer vision solutions in Retail, Food processing, IOT smart refrigerators and smart ovens.
What made you start your startup and what problem does it solve?
As bachelors cooking for ourselves was always an issue. We tried different apps and books, however searching recipes with available ingredients was not there.
That time we were working on an AI platform, where we thought of developing NLP and Computer vision APIs for developers. But one day while we were cooking one of our co-founder Nikhil suggested the idea of using deep learning computer vision for searching recipes, where you snap an image of ingredients inside your fridge and you get the best recipes to be made out of those ingredients.
That was the Ahaaaa!!! moment for us and we quickly made a prototype and uploaded to Google Play store. People started downloading the app and it spread through word of mouth. Taking this cue we launched the Recipe Book.
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this startup?
I am Anoop Balakrishnan, CEO of Recipe Book. I come from an Industrial design background. After completing Btech in Computer Science I took Masters in Design from NID, Ahmedabad. I worked for a few months, left the job and decided to follow my startup dream.
Where is your startup based out of? Why do you think that is the best place for you?
Kochi, due to the startup ecosystem being fostered here.
As a startup founder, what are you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?
Technically, it is not paranoia that keeps me awake at night, but the international skype meetings 🙂 Mostly international clients show a great interest in these cutting edge technology, so our client base is mostly from that zone. Being the CEO, it is my duty to understand the needs of our clients and deliver the product. At the same time, running a start-up is always a rollercoaster ride, and every entrepreneur will be paranoid on how to improve every aspect of the product and make it more useful and viable.
Who are your competitions and how are you better than them?
We do have other companies working on computer vision, but what we’ve done is orchestrating every computer vision technology and with our algorithm, we perfect the prediction success.
There are many computer vision companies in the market like Google vision API and Amazon Rekognition. But these are designed to get results for more generalised objects, but our technology is designed and built mainly for recognising food items.
How hard is it to have a work-life balance as a startup founder and how do you manage it?
The first few years will be difficult for everyone to work, as there is much pressure to quit and start a job and get a secure life. But once the people around us understand that, this is our passion, they start helping you. And I try to be involved in the present moment and that makes the work-life better for me.
Have you raised funding? If yes, then we would like to know the details. If no then please tell us if you’re looking to raise?
We have raised seed funding from US based Angel investors and Currently raising our series A fund.
What gets you excited about this company?
Being in a product based company itself is exciting, the amount of knowledge that pours in every day is quite immense. And since we work in AI, which is the latest buzzword and the future, I believe, not only me, everyone in the company is ahead of their time. They all can look forward and see what’s happening.
Tell us how a day in your life looks like? Your schedule for a day right from the time you get up till you hit the bed at night.
Most of the meetings are scheduled, and as usual at times unplanned things also come up.
Tell us about your team and how did you meet each other?
Ours is a team of 30 aspiring and hardworking people who believes in our product.
My CMO is Arun Ravi and CTO is Nikhil Dharman. We were classmates from college.
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