August 17th, 2018
BSH acquired a majority interest in the Berlin startup Kitchen Stories end of last year. Chairman of the Management Board at BSH Karsten Ottenberg joins Kitchen Stories founders Verena Hubertz and Mengting Gao in an interview to report how their new joint effort will look, and what consumers can expect.
Ms. Hubertz, just what is Kitchen Stories?
Mr. Ottenberg, the market has countless blogs and apps that have to do with eating and cooking. What drew your attention to Kitchen Stories in particular?
Kitchen Stories stood out from the crowd. It’s entirely dedicated to helping its users, offering them a unique, quality kitchen experience. The excellent design, intuitive user guidance, instructive videos, cooking tricks – everything is designed to add value for the consumer.
And can a hip little Berlin startup fit with a big corporation like BSH?
It’s an excellent fit. We were impressed right from the start with Verena Hubertz’s and Mengting Gao’s entrepreneurial style. In just four years, they’ve published their app in 150 countries, and they now have several million users. Both have a clear vision of how cooking should become a more and more enjoyable experience in the future, while at the same time getting simpler. We at BSH are also working on developing home appliances and solutions that fit into our digital world. By combining the knowledge and abilities of a startup like Kitchen Stories with our strength and experience, we’re already in a position today to offer consumers solutions that really fit with their world.
Ms. Gao, and for your part, why did you decide to accept BSH’s offer?
We have a clear goal in mind – to make Kitchen Stories the world’s leading platform in digital cooking experiences. To do that, we need a strong partner. BSH is a global, multi-brand corporation whose intelligent Home Connect platform has made it the leading home appliance manufacturer in the field of connectivity. That’s perfect for us.
Mr. Ottenberg, so how independent will Kitchen Stories still be in the context of this collaboration?
Kitchen Stories is a very well-known, successful global brand. Verena Hubertz and Mengting Gao are the central core that holds everything together and moves it forward. We have no wish to change that at BSH. We want to preserve the special environment of a startup, with all its advantages, and put all of it to work – its speed, its flexibility, and most of all its strong network within the scene. We want to support Kitchen Stories in developing high-quality new recipes and applications for consumers. And we want to work with Kitchen Stories to develop and offer additional services and products for all aspects of cooking in a connected world.
Ms. Hubertz, what specific advantages will users enjoy?
This investment will enable us to tap the connected kitchen market, and to help design the cooking of the future. We’ll develop solutions to help users in all aspects of the cooking process – from inspirations for recipes to added-value services. And we’ll be combining our own findings with those of BSH about what consumers want. That will enable us to reflect users’ expectations better, and to make Kitchen Stories even more attractive. Kitchen Stories will also soon be integrated into the Home Connect ecosystem, and will gradually be expanded with new applications. Another advantage for users.