dishq, a Bengaluru (India) based AI startup, that leverages food science and machine learning to predict people’s taste, announced today a pre-seed investment of $400K. This round has been funded by several investors including, Techstars’ first food / ag tech focused accelerator called Farm To Fork, and Arts Alliance.
“There is no question in my mind that Kishan, Sai and team are building something great here. There is a ton of opportunity in this space and this is the team that will capitalize on it,” said Brett Brohl, Managing Director of Techstars Farm To Fork.
Existing investors Zeroth and Artesian Venture Partners also participated in this round, as did The Syndicate Fund and angel investor Sven Hensen, Founder & Managing Partner of mayato. Tak Lo, Managing Partner at Zeroth, adds that “the founding team is one of the best I’ve seen, and the product is novel in its vision.”
The startup has developed what it calls a ‘food brain’ that can predict both an individual’s food preferences, as well as broader industry trends. dishq already has customers across 6 markets for their first product, a B2B personalization engine, which is currently powering more than 30 million recommendations each month.
The company was launched in December 2015 with the mission of helping consumers make better food choices by bringing personalization technology to the F&B industry. Both Founders, Kishan Vasani and Sai Sreenivas Kodur, previously worked at online food ordering industry giants, Just Eat and Zomato respectively. It was this experience and the personal frustration of dissatisfying meals that drove them to tackle this space.
“Why shouldn’t everything we eat or drink taste delicious? We all know how great we feel when we’ve enjoyed a truly amazing meal, we’re happier, more productive, and we waste less. Our technology essentially brings greater alignment between producers and consumers, and we’re truly honoured and excited to have the backing of such fantastic investors for our vision,” said Kishan Vasani, Co-Founder & CEO of dishq.
The primary deployment of the investment will be to expand the engineering team, as well as sales & marketing activities. While the majority of the team is based at the company HQ in Bengaluru, India, dishq will be expanding its presence in London, UK, and has just opened a US office in St. Paul, MN.