Valyant AI Raises Funds for Restaurant Voice Assistant Expansion
Restaurant voice assistant developer Valyant AI has raised millions in equity funding to fuel a rapid deployment and enhancement of its Holly AI in the coming months. Valyant has now raised a total of $17 million and will be serving dozens more restaurants around the U.S. thanks to an as-yet-unannounced deal with a major restaurant brand.
Valyant revealed the new funding in tandem with the announcement that it has inked a deal with hospitality payment platform Paerpay. Valyant’s Holly AI can take a food order, but payment still requires pulling up to a window to hand cash or a card to an employee. With Paerpay embedded in the drive-thru screen, customers can scan a QR code that appears next to what they’ve ordered from Holly, which will allow them to pay by phone. Employees will only need to hand over the food rather than complete the transaction, shortening the time a car spends in line. The Colorado-based Valyant started out incorporating its voice AI into Denver’s Good Times Burgers & Frozen Custard in 2019, though that contract has ended. Checkers & Rally’s franchisee-owned drive-thrus, are the only restaurants Valyant officially works with right now.
Valyant has been upgrading every aspect of its technology ahead of the upcoming expansion. The AI is better at filtering out background noise and reducing the need to call in a human to handle orders. Valyant can also deploy its technology more quickly, taking less than a month to embed Holly at a restaurant, compared to the many months required back when the company launched. Even so, Valyant has a year-and-a-half waiting list of restaurants ready to install Holly. Valyant hasn’t shared its current spread, but Carpenter suggested Valyant would be available in count hundreds of locations by the end of the year. Raising the new capital both extends Valyant’s runway for development and demonstrates that its investors are confident of its upcoming expansion.
“We raised money last year, then decided to raise more before we launch with a new brand, a top 10 [restaurant] brand,” Valyant AI CEO Rob Carpenter told Voicebot in an interview. “I’ve seen upward of 20 [restaurant voice AI] companies announce, then ultimately shut down and fail. It’s very simple to build a prototype but next to impossible to build an open-ended system. I expect the market to consolidate over the next six to nine months.”
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