Techstars’ accelerator, others invest in food-tech startup Dishq
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Dishq, a Bengaluru-based personalisation technology firm focusing on the food and beverage industry, has raised $400,000 (Rs 2.7 crore) in a pre-seed round of funding from Techstars’ food and agriculture technology accelerator Farm To Fork and Arts Alliance.

Other investors who participated in this round include The Syndicate Fund and angel investor Sven Hensen, founder and managing partner of business analytics firm mayato. Existing investors Zeroth, a startup accelerator, and Artesian Venture Partners also put money.

The company will use the funds to expand its engineering team and to accelerate its sales and marketing activities, it said in a statement.

The artificial intelligence startup leverages food science and machine learning to predict people’s tastes. Dishq claims to have developed what it calls a ‘food brain’ that can predict both an individual’s food preferences as well as broader industry trends.

The startup was launched in December 2015 by Kishan Vasani (chief executive) and Sai Sreenivas Kodur (technology head), who both previously worked at online food ordering ventures Just Eat and Zomato, respectively.

It claims to have customers across six markets for its first product, a business-to-business (B2B) personalisation engine. According to the company, the tech tool is currently powering more than 30 million recommendations each month.

“Our technology essentially brings greater alignment between producers and consumers, and we’re truly honoured and excited to have the backing of such fantastic investors for our vision,” Vasani said.

Recent deals in the space

Besides Zomato and Swiggy, a number of ventures that offer digital solutions in the food-tech space have raised venture capital investment recently.

This month, Bengaluru-based SmartQ, which runs a food-ordering app for corporate employees, acquired Goodbox, an app-based cafeteria business, which was backed by Nexus Venture Partners.

In early July, Bengaluru-headquartered HungerBox, an online platform that connects caterers and corporates, raised $4.5 million (Rs 31 crore) in a Series A investment round led by South Korea-based investment firm Neoplux and India-centric mid-market private equity firm Sabre Partners.

In February, Food-tech startup Holachef has raised Rs 2 crore($311,200) an individual investor.

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