Dishq, the Bengaluru, India-based startup that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to deliver personalized food recommendations, announced today that it has raised a $400,000 “pre-seed” round of financing from several investors including the Techstars Farm to Fork accelerator and Arts Alliance. This brings the total amount of money raised by the company to $560,000.

Dishq combines a vast database of dishes and their attributes, as well as anonymized customer behavior analytics and food science research into a machine learning algorithm. The company’s AI platform plugs into any digital food business, such as Uber Eats or at an in-restaurant ordering kiosk, to provide recommendations for the end-user.

According to Vasani, dishq has 11 customers across 6 countries spanning across more than one thousand restaurants and foodservice locations. The software is powering 30 million recommendations per month with more than 176,000 consumers receiving recommendations each month. For comparison, when I spoke with the company in January, it has 6 customers and was powering just two million recommendation a month.

In addition to TechStars and Arts Alliance, existing investors Zeroth and Artesian Venture Partners also participated in this round, as well as The Syndicate Fund and angel investor Sven Hensen. Dishq says it’s going to use the new money to build out its engineering team and expand sales and marketing activities. In addition to the Bangaluru office, dishq will be growing its presence in London and just opened up an office in St. Paul, MN, which is where the TechStars accelerator is located.

Now is a good time for dishq to bolster its coffers, as the AI-powered recommendation space is getting hot. Just yesterday, Halla announced its I/O platform for B2B food recommendations, and others such as FoodPairing and Plantjammer are all bringing their machine learning to help predict what people want to eat.

This money will also presumably help dishq get closer to its long-term goal of creating a real-time “taste analytics as a service,” which will help CPG brands better react to food trends as they are happening and take action.

Vasani spoke at our recent Smart Kitchen Summit: Europe, where he was on the panel Personalized, Shoppable and Guided: Recipes Are Not Dead. You can watch it here.

SKS Europe: Personalized, Shoppable and Guided: Recipes Are Not Dead from The Spoon on Vimeo.

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