Tastewise, an AI-powered food trends prediction and intelligence startup, announced today it has raised $5M in a Series A funding round led by PeakBridge, an investment firm specializing in FoodTech. Last year Pico Venture Partners provided Tastewise $1.5 million in seed funding, bringing the company’s total funding to $6.5 million to date.
The Series A round will be used to further develop Tastewise’s AI technology, focused on understanding human interactions with food, such as the motivations behind why people select and prefer certain foods over others. By breaking down data to the specific functions that interest consumers, Tastewise not only knows what foods are trending, but why. With the platform expansion, Tastewise will further train its AI to comprehend the deep human motivation around food trends, with insights that will shape the future of the industry.
Tastewise gains actionable insights into real-life interactions with food by analyzing over 1 billion food photos shared every month together with the largest restaurant menu database available today (over 180,000 restaurants in the U.S.). The company already works with Fortune 500 food and beverage brands to pinpoint market opportunities and is primed to identify potential market gaps to fill for rising trends like virtual restaurants. Plans to expand the AI technology platform’s visual analysis of images will empower the platform to provide more proactive insights on emerging trends in the culinary industry.
“We’re looking forward to deepening the understanding of consumer needs and trends by using AI that comprehends human behavior around eating and drinking,” said Tastewise co-founder Alon Chen. “We are delighted to partner with PeakBridge’s team of experts and executives from Nestlé, Mars, Pepsi and Sequoia Partners, as we build toward creating a smarter, better food industry powered by AI and food intelligence.”
Specialized FoodTech venture fund PeakBridge is uniquely qualified to lead the funding round, with a senior team from the agri-food industry, investment management and venture capital founded by Erich Sieber, former Nestlé executive and partner of Nestlé’s Fund-of-One and Nadav Berger, the founder of FoodLab Capital, respectively. Peakbridge Venture Partner Rick Borenstein, Chairman of Sequoia Partners and former President of Wells Fargo Investment Company, will join as Tastewise’s board member.
“We are dedicated to supporting companies that are focused on high-impact FoodTech insights and solutions, like Tastewise, as they expand their AI platform development to gain deeper insights about trends that will change the future of the food industry,” said Erich Sieber, PeakBridge’s Founder and Managing Partner. “As FoodTech investors, we’ve evaluated hundreds of companies’ impact on the market. Tastewise is absolutely a company that is on the path towards revolutionizing the food industry with deep data-based consumer understanding.”
In tandem with today’s announcement, Tastewise has published its 2019 Food for Function report, drawing attention to some of the biggest opportunities for food brands emerging in today’s era of wellness-obsessed consumers.
About Tastewise Founded by former Google executive Alon Chen and Eyal Gaon, Tastewise brings the power of data to the art of food and beverage intelligence. The platform analyzes billions of food data points – including menus, home recipes and social media – to provide real-time insights for restaurants, hospitality groups, and food brands. Capturing food innovation in real time, Tastewise equips industry professionals to identify target segments and competitors, understand emerging trends, and determine which dishes or products should be served next. Tastewise leverages machine learning to tap into the culinary consciousness that drives the world’s freshest food and beverage insights. For more information, please visit www.tastewise.io.