Google Ventures, along with Sparklabs Global Ventures, has helped drop $1.2 million into The Orange Chef, a San Francisco-based smart kitchen company that wants to connect basic kitchen devices to the Internet.

Orange Chef’s latest invention is the Prep Pad, a Bluetooth-enabled scale that gives users real-time nutritional info about the food they use in their meals. The device is a significant step up from products like the company’s iPad stand-equipped cutting board, which is decidedly less high-tech. The device, which ships in February, shows how making kitchen appliances smarter can also help make people healthier.

And The Orange Chef is not alone. The Egg Minder, a device made by Quirky, also smartens up the kitchen by telling owners when their eggs are going bad. Early smart refrigerators from companies like Samsung are taking a stab at the same idea, letting users track food and search for recipes via their embedded touch screens.

Translation: There’s going to be a lot of money in this market, and a lot of companies trying to grab a chunk of it.

In addition to Google Ventures and Sparklabs, The Orange Chef’s funding round, which is ongoing, was joined by Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, Kima Ventures, The Social+Capital Partnership, Graph Ventures, and angel investors.


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