Shipments of a new wireless WiFi-enabled sous vide cooking device from high-tech cooking startup Sansaire have been delayed as the company seeks more funding for production and manufacturing.
Sansaire pushed manufacturing of the Delta device to the third quarter of next year, co-founder Lukas Svec wrote in an update to Kickstarter backers obtained by GeekWire. Despite raising $256,804 from 1,314 backers on Kickstarter for the Delta, against a goal of $100,000, Sansaire is pursuing an outside funding round to pay for manufacturing costs and recently switched manufacturing partners.
The delay, and pursuit of extra funds, come as Sansaire has shuffled through executives over the last year. The Delta device is the anticipated follow up to the Sansaire Sous Vide Machine, one of the most popular culinary-oriented Kickstarter projects in the site’s history.
When contacted by GeekWire, a Sansaire spokeswoman did not say why the company needed more money for manufacturing despite exceeding its Kickstarter goals. The company reiterated that it will get the Delta device to market and will continue communicating with backers.
According to a previous update on the Kickstarter page, the two models of the Delta were scheduled to be shipped to backers in April and June 2017, respectively.
“The overall goal here is to further stabilize production and prevent the revised Delta timeline from experiencing any additional delays,” Svec wrote in the update to backers.
The delay has upset some backers, with the post garnering numerous comments complaining about the delay and asking for refunds.
The update indicates that the company’s need to raise more cash is also impacting manufacturing of its flagship sous vide machine, which raised $823,003 in its crowdfunding campaign in 2013. That device is still available through numerous retailers, including Amazon and Target, and the company said more product will be available by the second quarter of next year.
Kickstarter and other crowdfunding mechanisms have opened up a new avenue for entrepreneurs to fund and drum up excitement for their products. The medium has generated plenty of successful products, but for every hit like the Exploding Kittens game, there is a Zano. And even some of the most successful and exciting projects have taken longer and cost much more than expected.
Sansaire has delivered on a Kickstarter project before. The flagship sous vide device set the record as the number one most-funded food product on Kickstarter. Sansaire closed that offering in September 2013 and by the following February shipped the first units.
Svec, who called Sansaire his “brain child” in the update, wrote that he is taking over the CEO role, making him the third person to lead the company in the last year. He succeeds Lilac Muller, who left in November a few months into her tenure.
Johnna Hobgood spent a year as CEO before leaving in April to work as a senior manager at Amazon focused on the Amazon Go checkout-free shopping experience. Valerie Trask, a co-founder and former COO, left in September 2016, according to her LinkedIn profile, and eventually went to Expedia.
This means two of the three top-level executives listed on the Delta’s Kickstarter page are no longer with the company.
The Sansaire spokeswoman told GeekWire that no layoffs have occurred at the company to date, but it has undergone some internal restructuring.
The Sansaire Delta, like its predecessor, heats water to precise temperatures for even immersion cooking. But the new device has a much different design, overlapping the edge of a pot rather than standing tall out of the water like the original Sansaire device.
Sansaire also offers a iOS and Android app so home chefs can control water temperature, timing, and desired level of cooking from their smartphones. Among other features, the app sends notifications when the target cooking time and temperature for a particular food is reached.
Sansaire is competing in a crowded space. Sous vide, a style of cooking that involves immersing food in controlled temperature baths, has become something of a movement, and Seattle is at the center of it — with several companies in the region developing and selling at-home sous vide devices.
One common thread is Nathan Myhrvold, the former Microsoft CTO who now leads patent holding and technology development company Intellectual Ventures, the author of the “Modernist Cuisine” cookbooks. Scott Heimendinger, who was co-founder of Sansaire, is technical director for Myhrvold’s Modernist Cuisine company.