Culinary Voice AI Startup Klovechef Closes $1M Funding Round
Voice-based culinary AI startup Klovechef has raised $1 million in a Pre-Series A funding round led by Venture Catalysts. The three-year-old startup offers a conversational voice app supported by Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa that guides users through picking a recipe, gathering ingredients, and cooking the meal. The startup plans to use the new funding to add new features to the platform and expand its customer base in the U.S.
The Klovechef platform acts as a kind of Google Maps of cooking. The AI talks through Google and Amazon smart speakers and smart displays and their respective mobile apps to recommend potential recipes and guide them through the creation of the meal. Klovechef can help set up meal plans, grocery lists ahead of time, along with audio and visual guides to prepping the meal. Over time, the AI becomes better at figuring out what the user likes and tailors menu recommendations based on what has been cooked before. Venture Catalysts, based in Mumbai, was joined by several others, including individual angel investors and a few accelerators and incubator organizations like Venture Catalyst.
Though available for Google devices, Klovechef has a closer relationship with Amazon. The two companies are even working together on meal plan delivery in India, with post-Covid plans to extend that service to other counties. There are more than 850,000 unique users of Klovechef in India, sharing guides to almost 2.5 million meals searched on Alexa. All told, Klovechef is reporting more than 10,000 daily active users on the platform.
“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,” Klovechef co-founder Bahubali Shete said in a statement. “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.”
The coronavirus pandemic has necessitated a lot more cooking at home. As a result, more people are looking for good recipe ideas and guides. In April, we reported that U.S. Meredith Corp’s Allrecipes Alexa skill sessions were up 67%, and unique user rates had risen to 80% while 45% of visitors were new to the website. Amazon’s partnership with Klovechef hasn’t precluded Alexa from trying to entice more would-be chefs with its own offerings. For instance, Amazon Fire TV and tablet owners can get a free year of Food Network with a subscription to live and on-demand cooking classes. There’s plenty of opportunity for this application of voice AI; the big question is how popular it will be as an app right now and in an ideal post-COVID-19 world.
“Klovechef has succeeded in integrating the innovative idea of voice shopping with the safety and reliability of home cooking,” Venture Catalysts president Dr. Apoorva Ranjan Sharma said. “The market space the company is addressing is ripe for disruption, especially in the post-pandemic context.”