Foodtech startup Ai Palette has raised $4.4 Mn in Series A round co-led by pi Ventures and Exfinity Venture Partners. According to a report by AgFunder, the round also saw participation from returning backers food tech venture firm AgFunder and Decacorn Capital, and new investor Anthill Ventures.
Prior to this round, the startup had also raised a seed round in 2019. This funding brings Ai Palette’s total capital raised to $5.5 Mn.
Founded in 2018 by chief executive officer Somsubhra GanChoudhuri and chief technology officer Himanshu Upreti, Ai Palette uses machine learning to help companies spot trends of food products in real time and get them retail-ready quickly. The platform uses data from sources like social media, search, blogs, recipes, menus and company data, to map out these trends.
Ai Palette’s first product is Foresight Engine, which tracks trends like ingredients or flavors, analyzes why they are popular and predicts how long demand will last.
Currently, the startup claims to work with a few companies, including Kellogs, Danone, Kellogg’s, Cargill, and Dole. In the coming future, it plans to onboard at least 10-20 companies.
As per the report, the platform supports multiple languages such as English, simplified Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, Bahasa Indonesian, Bahasa Melayu, Tagalog, Spanish, French and German, with plans to add more as it targets new European countries, Mexico, Latin America and the Middle East.
The Singapore based company’s initial customer base was based in Southeast Asia and India, and expanded to China, Japan, the United States and Europe. The team will use the funding to expand to even more markets.
As discussed above, analysing massive volumes of data on customers, product trends, and supply chains generate insights that can lead to better decision-making and improved customer experience. However, data analysis can be complicated with legacy systems and data silos. Poor data infrastructure and data management can hinder the implementation of analytics solutions, jeopardise data security, and prevent real-time data sharing.
This is the reason as to why retailers are turning to cloud solutions and technologies to break down barriers to the easy flow of data, realise analytics capabilities and unlock data-driven insights.
Retailers, consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers, and ecommerce companies produce enormous amounts of data. Aggregated from various channels, such as online and mobile transactions, data exchanges, social media, and the Internet of Things, the retail industry’s data resource is waiting to be tapped by other companies similar to Ai Palette. This would further lead to development of other sectors such as the retail industry.
For instance, a report from Nasscom and EY predicts that the Indian retail sector will reach $1.4 Tn by 2024. Moreover, with the retail sector’s rapid movement to online platforms, India’s online retail sales are projected to generate total revenue of $60 Bn by the end of 2020. Driven by changing consumer behaviour and the emergence of the digital economy, India’s retail sector is set to witness AI and data-led disruption opportunities, particularly in the organised retail and ecommerce sector.