With Fridge Eye, the Munich startup Brezzl wants to equip refrigerators with an intelligent camera. The aim is to waste less food. Founded in 2015, the startup is not alone with their idea. The solution from Fridge Eye, however, is more affordable and easier to install than others on the market. Now a crowdfunding campaign is also about to begin. Brezzl founder Vladislav Svetashkov answered our Seven Questions.
1. Who are you and what do you do?
Brezzl develops products that help people daily. We put a strong emphasis on attractive design, functionality and sustainability. With Fridge Eye, an intelligent refrigerator camera, we turn the fridges our customers already have at home into smart refrigerators. And we do so at low cost and with a sustainable solution.
It’s happened to all of us — you buy milk at the store yet again, making it the third bottle in the fridge. Fridge Eye helps our customers save time. When at the grocery store, they always know what they actually need, which in turn reduces food waste. That makes it a win-win for our customers and the environment.
Fridge Eye: A smart and sustainable refrigerator camera
To gain experience with manufacturing hardware ahead of time, Brezzl put Cablewings on the market in 2018. They are innovative cord holders for Macbooks that organize the tangle of cords and protect them. Cablewings won two renowned design awards. We sell the products around the globe. Our consulting division is currently taking care of our cashflow. They support companies with their innovative digital projects, some of which have won awards.
2. But that’s nothing out of the box!
Smart refrigerators exist with pre-mounted cameras. But a fridge is not a smartphone where you buy a new one every other year. You buy a new fridge when the old one stops working, and they run for about fifteen years. Customers also aren’t able or don’t want to spend several thousand euros on smart refrigerators with technology that will be outdated after two years and without any available updates. And often times there just isn’t enough room, as we’ve experienced ourselves — not every Munich apartment has space for a French door refrigerator.
fits anywhere, regardless of whether in a fridge in a rented apartment or in a
designer fridge purchased by the customer. There is one competitor for
cameras whose product is exclusively available in the English-speaking market.
During the entire manufacturing process, we concentrated on being able to offer our customers a designer product in the end whose quality and solutions impress both in terms of price and technology while also being as sustainable as possible. In all three points, we are the leader by far. But the needs of our customers are definitely our main focus, not the technology.
“You can make some serious headway with stubbornness”
3. What has been your biggest challenge so far?
Developing a fully-functional and attractive product with limited means — we’re still bootstrapped — and in a short period of time, namely within twelve months, to an extent that no one has managed so far. Because our background is in software, becoming familiar with hardware was a real challenge. From our present point of view, it was pretty naive to even take on the project. But you really can make some serious headway with stubbornness.
4. Now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty: How is business going?
Until the start of our crowdfunding campaign, we had positive cashflow. Our consulting services and Cablewings provided positive figures and six-digit revenue. Preparing for the campaign required larger investments that now need to be brought back in again. We feel confident it will work.
The hardware is set up so we can scale quickly and worldwide. We already have interested parties from the B2B realm who think the hardware is great and would be happy to use it.
5. What does Munich mean to you?
We think Munich has a great combination of innovative startups, established companies and top-notch universities. That creates a structured and achievement-oriented culture. We’ve received a lot of support from startups and also like to offer support. With crowdfunding, there’s also some great support from the city and the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK).
6. How will your startup become the next unicorn? Or will we be seeing you at an Epic Fail Night soon?
We like data, and when you analyze startups in general, the latter is more likely in terms of statistics. But when you look at our path and the solutions we’ve found, the first option might still be extremely unlikely, but we wouldn’t rule it out.
7. Schweinshaxe (knuckle of pork) or Steckerlfisch (fish grilled on a stick)?
A pretzel, of course!