The Foodly app was developed by Dr. Hannes Kübel and Peter Schrott, both alumni of Technische Universität Berlin, and Johannes Linowski of Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University Karlsruhe (DHBW Karlsruhe). It allows users to flexibly and affordably purchase ingredients for tasty meals while also completing their weekly grocery shopping, both saving time and providing ideas for tasty meals.
Cauliflower-sweet potato pasta with a refreshing mint pesto or how about shrimp tacos with a pea and potato puree, chili, and lime? It is easy to get an appetite and a desire to cook when swiping through the recipes in the Foodly app. The app ensures that the fun of cooking is not ruined by an annoying trip to the store; users can order ingredients they do not have at home as well as anything else they need from the supermarket. Then everything is delivered together to their home. With the more than 500 recipes in the Foodly app, users are certain to find meals suited to their individual diet.
In 2012, Hannes Kübel began his doctoral thesis in the field of “Smart Home Ecosystems” at the TU Berlin Chair of Information and Communication Management, headed by Professor Dr. Rüdiger Zarnekow. The subject of his dissertation was not far removed from the Foodly idea. Together with big data expert Peter Schrott, who studied computer science at TU Berlin and has gained many years’ experience in various companies, and Johannes Linowski, an acquaintance from his university days in Karlsruhe, Kübel founded Foodly in 2018.
The team was supported in its launch by the TU Berlin Centre for Entrepreneurship (CfE). Their mentor was Kübel’s doctoral supervisor Rüdiger Zarnekow. “First the CfE helped us successfully apply for an EXIST start-up grant from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy,” says Kübel. “The center continued to provide us with support, including a demanding qualification program, throughout the entire foundation phase. We also received a lot of helpful feedback from our mentor Professor Zarnekow. During our first year we were able to use offices at TU Berlin.” The Foodly team then moved to the Charlottenburg Innovation Center (CHIC) not far from the TU Berlin campus.
Foodly has since grown and is available in 30 German cities. More than 500 recipes are offered and since the start of 2020, it has included an extensive range of vegan recipes. Orders are delivered by Bringmeister, the delivery service of the EDEKA supermarket, and by the online supermarket food.de. The prices are identical to those in the store with the customer only paying an additional delivery fee. “Our focus is on the recipes. We work with food bloggers, among others, to expand and optimize the range of recipes offered. We want to give our customers the opportunity to always discover something new. Continual optimization of the app is a very complex and technically challenging process,” explains Kübel. The goal is to make cooking and shopping easier. And because everyone has to eat every day, the market is extremely big.
Seven business angels in the start-up scene recognized Foodly’s potential and invested a mid-sized six-figure sum in 2019. And the Foodly team has achieved yet another coup: They were able to attract Andri Fried, former online marketing officer from the meal-kit company Marley Spoon, on board as a late co-founder.
The team is currently intensively working on expanding both Foodly’s presence in German-speaking regions and its offerings to include not only vegan options but other diets and food sensitivities such as low carb, lactose free, or gluten free meals as well.