SoundHound AI Acquires Restaurant Voice AI Startup SYNQ3
SoundHound AI has acquired voice AI startup SYNQ3 Restaurant Solutions for $25 million. The purchase will extend SoundHound’s reach in the restaurant sector by over 10,000 locations.
SoundHound has been working to widen its food footprint with restaurant chains and convenience stores at a rapid clip this year. The company’s voice AI is slated to reach more than 100 White Castle drive-thrus by the end of the year after a successful pilot in 2020. That received a multimodal enhancement from Samsung and its MagicINFO interactive digital sign technology a few months later. The menu boards and voice AI will combine to offer enhanced service that customers can see is accurate as the AI transmits their requests to the kitchen. SoundHound can now work to add SYNQ3’s customer base of over 25 brands among drive-thru, fast casual, casual dining, and convenience stores in more than 100,000 locations to that list.
“In joining forces, SoundHound AI and SYNQ3 will be the go-to standard for cutting-edge voice and conversational AI solutions for the restaurant industry,” SoundHound CEO Keyvan Mohajer explained. “Restaurant operators are turning to technology en masse, and voice AI is now playing a key role in helping them drive sales, reduce costs, and alleviate the burden of increasing demand on their employees.”
The deal is expected to provide revenue boosts as SoundHound cross-sells its portfolio of AI offerings to SYNQ3’s customer base. These include innovations in dynamic interaction, smart answering, and employee assist solutions powered by data from over 50 million previous interactions. SoundHound will pay around 20% of the $25 million price tag in cash, with the remainder in stock. Up to $4 million more is possible based on SYNQ3 hitting certain revenue goals over the next three years.
SYNQ3 also offers industry expertise from executives like CEO Steve Bigari, a former McDonald’s operator. “Together, we plan to capitalize on those synergies to provide best-in-class AI ordering backed by the largest library of restaurant AI orders in the world,” Bigari said. The acquisition accelerates SoundHound’s strategy to monetize its technology through food and drink ordering services available in cars, TVs, and other devices.
“SoundHound AI and SYNQ3 will provide our restaurant partners with a formidable voice solution that we believe significantly surpasses the competition,” said SYNQ3 CEO Steve Bigari. “Our businesses are highly complementary, with both AI and industry expertise at the core of who we are. Together, we plan to capitalize on those synergies to provide best-in-class AI ordering methodologies backed by the largest library of restaurant AI orders in the world. This will power a rapid acceleration of our growth!”
SoundHound’s interest in expansion fits with its efforts to ramp up revenue after raising $100 million in strategic funding in April. That means many new tools and features for its restaurant and automotive clients. The list includes leveraging generative AI for tasks like turning car manuals into voice assistants and using its Dynamic Interaction voice AI for business services. SoundHound previously predicted it would reach profitability and raised $25 million in equity financing in January after reducing staff from around 450 to 200 people in two rounds of layoffs.