Court Lorenzini already helped change the way companies ink digital signatures as the co-founder of Docusign. Now the Seattle entrepreneur wants to make the process of planning, shopping, and cooking dinner much easier.
Up until now, Lorenzini has kept CookBrite in stealth mode, offering few details. But now the CEO is revealing a bit more about how the app works, and the problem it attempts to fix.
At its core, CookBrite is a one-stop mobile meal-planning solution, acting as a digital shopping list and recipe book.
“I’ve been the principal cook in my household for many years, and it’d become routine for my wife and I to discuss what we should cook for dinner each night,” Lorenzini explained. “I’d ask her what we were eating, she’d ask me what I was going to make, I’d ask her what we had in the house — we’d always have this back-and-forth dance. CookBrite is solving this problem.”
But CookBrite’s secret sauce lies within its built-in recommendation engine made possible by automatically tracking the ingredients in your pantry and refrigerator. It does this by scanning photos of your grocery receipts to log what you buy at the store — the app is built to analyze different types of receipts — and then tracks food levels as you make meal plans on the app. Users aren’t required to manually enter specific data; CookBrite does the work for you with what Lorenzini described as a “reasonable degree of accuracy.”
“It’s a clever system of analyzing what you have versus what you need more or less of,” he said.
By knowing what’s available in your home, CookBrite can make better meal recommendations based on that information. Lorenzini also noted that the technology keeps people from making an unnecessary trip to the grocery store and also helps families save money.
“Most people don’t realize that a third of a household food budget in America ends up in the trash,” he said. “Given that food is the third-largest line expense behind housing and transportation in any house, that’s a pretty big number. We’re trying to optimize how food is used in the world.”
Lorenzini said that CookBrite is “completely unique” — not quite a recipe discovery app and not quite a shopping cart app, but more of a service that optimizes how a particular family eats each day by tracking what’s already available and what might be needed.
“It’s just about managing your life around cooking, and improving the everyday experience of cooking,” he said.
Lorenzini wouldn’t say how the app plans to turn a revenue, but that his 22-person company — 14 employees in Seattle and eight in San Francisco — is focused on building user adoption and engagement.
The CEO noted that “we have perhaps one of the best, if not the best team I’ve ever assembled as a startup.” Other CookBrite executives include Sam Lucente, formerly HP’s vice president of design, CTO Roy Penn, and CPO Micki Seibel. Other employees have experience at places like Kraft, McDonalds, Frito Lay, and Nielsen.
Lorenzini added that although CookBrite’s domain is much different than that of Docusign — which raised $115 million in October — there are many similarities with both services.
“At Docusign, we had to figure out a clever way to make a complex process that had always been done with paper into something electronic that people could understand and embrace,” Lorenzini explained. “It’s very similar to what we do now. Most people manage the household cooking process with sticky notes or nothing at all — it’s very catch-as-catch-can. We are taking that and making it a simple and approachable process, one that you want to touch and be apart of with high frequency.”