Food-focused ecommerce software startup Basketful has recently earned a pair of new CPG customers, pushing them into the revenue generation stage.
Company cofounder and CEO Eugene Burd says that homegrown behemoth General Mills and Chicago-based Conagra have signed up in the near term, each paying for an annual subscription to for Basketful’s novel approach to online retail.
The venture was birthed last year by Burd and his partner Jim Lesch, both of whom came from the corporate world (General Mills ironically), and made the startup jump based on an issue they saw throughout the industry.
“We help large CPG retailers turn their content into customers,” he explains, “the chasm between inspiration and purchase has historically been tough to bridge.”
Basketful works by tapping into massive amounts of unstructured data and pairing site recipes with an automated call to action that, in turn, pre-populates a filled cart based on the necessary ingredients.
“The problem has been a really hard one for anyone to figure out on their own…lots analytics and natural language processing behind the scene.”
For example, looking at Conagra’s implementation at www.readyseteat.com, you can see the “powered by Basketful” next to each recipes followed up with a “buy all ingredients” cart checkout for a every recipe across the site:
Basketful currently supports large food retailers like Kroger and Walmart — that have thousands of locations across the country and up to 20,000 different product SKUs at each location. It’s the sourcing and combining of such data in real time based on geographic location for fulfillment that really makes up the secret sauce.
“Early results are encouraging” Burd says, pointing out that only 1% of American’s buy all their groceries online in the first place. “That number is slowly starting to change within the US, but it’s going to take time for behaviors to catch up with the technology like this.”
Clearly, these customers atleasat see the benefit of being on the forefront of online commerce in Basketful’s case.
Next for Basketful is exploring options on how to develop commercial relationships with a mix of independent online food and recipe sites, signing more retailer customers and expanding into “non-recipe” types of content and commerce.
Basketful is bootstrapped to date though they are “starting to talk about raising investment capital.”