- Founder: Nuno M. Brilha
- Founded in: 2020
- Employees: 5
- Money raised: 250,000 euros
- Ultimate goal: To influence and empower and help people make healthier, more sustainable food choices.
Healthy eating is no sinecure. Because not everything you normally buy in the supermarket is equally good for your health. And how do you prepare the healthy food in the best way? The Portuguese start-up Clevermeals wants to “democratize knowledge and access to healthy, positive and planet-friendly food”, as they say. The company is developing an app based on artificial intelligence. This should help you make better food choices and help you develop healthier eating habits. The founder, Nuno Brilha, talks about the app and Clevermeals’ ambitions for this episode of today’s startup.
How did you come up with the idea for Clevermeals?
“We realized that healthy food choices and sustainability are at the top of the socio-political agenda. At the same time, we also saw a gap in the tech industry when it comes to these topics. For example, we have shopping list apps and other applications, but no mainstream platform for sustainable, healthy food choices. We wanted to develop a way to provide consumers with knowledge about healthy food so that they make healthier choices.”
How did you develop that idea further?
“A survey we did showed that many people are inspired by recipes on the internet. A consumer should therefore also get that inspiration when he walks through the supermarket with his shopping basket. Food is also a form of entertainment. But eating healthier is more complex than it seems. Most people base their choice on price or personal preference. We offer knowledge and thus help consumers discover healthy shopping sites.”
What does the app offer?
“On the one hand, we have a content blog on our platform. It is linked to the app, which includes a digital recipe book, a digital meal planner and a digital shopping list. Three food content creators bring new recipes and lifestyle opinions to our platform every week. Clevermeals is now building an algorithm that will find users healthier shopping options in their own environment, taking into account the user’s preferences.”
How did the technology develop?
“We are in the middle of that process. The backbone is Google because we want to use its technology and features in our platform. We have three technical building blocks. One is for content which is ready. The second is the AI that we are developing and the third is the matching of market opportunities. We are now starting to develop this part of the food technology platform.”
What sets your app apart from others already on the market?
“The secret ingredient in Clevermeals is that we combine shopping lists and information about healthy food in one solution using artificial intelligence. We have competitors who are very big on content but don’t have the technology. Other players have the technology but little content. Our method plus the technology gives consumers more options and options.”
Was it difficult to get funding?
“Financing is always a problem. Portugal is a great place to beta test, but it’s a smaller market, which makes getting funding a lot of work. We applied for a risk certificate in February 2022 and we now have the financing in order. We have now received the first round of investment and we are working on the second.”
What are the future plans?
“We still need to complete various parts of the project first. To date, it is 60 to 70 percent completed. We hope to have the complete automation ready by the end of 2023. Our plan is to provide an international digital infrastructure in healthy nutrition that collaborates with different market participants in sustainability.”