[Funding alert] Venture Catalysts leads $1M pre-Series A round in conversational AI startup Klovechef
Mumbai-based startup incubator and accelerator Venture Catalysts has led a $1 million Pre-Series A funding in, a platform that leverages cutting-edge conversational AI-based technology to enhance consumer culinary and buying experiences.
The round also saw participation from new investors JPIN VCATs, Ravindranath Chenna, and Klovechef’s existing investors SOSV (Food-X accelerator), NB Ventures, and angel investors Alok Nanavaty, Kanwar Chadha, Rajiv Nayan, Hans Black, and a few other investors.
The US and Bengaluru-based startup had earlier raised a Seed round from angel investors like Rajan Anandan, Swamy Kotagiri, Rajshekhar Metgud, Berro Family, as well as LetsVenture.
Founded in 2017, Klovechef’s founding team includes Bahubali Shete, Asha Shete, and Chef Sanjeev Kapoor later joined as a co-founder, bringing both technology and culinary experience to build the platform.
Klovechef said it aims to make people's complete kitchen journeys interactive and efficient through its AI-powered and voice-first platform that works like a conversational kitchen assistant on voice assistant platforms like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. It enables users to add ingredients to their grocery list, get endless recipe recommendations, and receive personalised step-by-step help with meal preparation.
The platform leverages the power of AI and Machine Learning focused on culinary applications (Culinary AI) to become better with usage by learning from the users’ cooking patterns, tastes, and preferences, thereby also providing personalised recommendations.
Klovechef has been live in India since July 2019 on Amazon Alexa, where it has more than 850,000 unique users and has recorded nearly 2.5 million meals searched on Alexa.
“The global voice shopping market is still young and holds tremendous growth potential. With our innovative platform, we hope to tap into the growing interest around healthy eating and home cooking in the post-COVID-19 market,” said Bahubali Shete, Co-founder, Klovechef.
“The funding from Venture Catalysts will help us grow our user base and accelerate our expansion efforts into the North American voice shopping market, which is currently the largest globally,” Bahubali added.
In a media release, Klovechef said that its strategic alliances with Amazon Alexa and affiliate partnerships with Amazon Meal Kits (India) as well as other meal kit providers and grocery retailers based in the US and Canada will further help it to operate in the rapidly growing market right at the intersection of a $40 billion global voice shopping market and a $500 billion food and beverage market.
“Klovechef has succeeded in integrating the innovative idea of voice shopping with the safety and reliability of home cooking. The market space the company is addressing is ripe for disruption, especially in the post-pandemic context,” added Dr Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, Co-founder and President, Venture Catalysts.