Temasek-backed UST Global piles into sensory sciences with investment in Tastry

UST Global Inc., a multinational digital transformation solutions company, has invested in sensory sciences and customer experience firm Tastry Inc.

California-based Tastry says it uses advanced chemistry, machine learning and artificial intelligence to match consumers with products. The company says its technology analyses products to determine what flavours are present in them, before presenting customers with recommendations.

Retailers can use this technology, says Tastry, to optimise their product mix in order to increase sales, margins, and store loyalty, as well as provide suggestions for product development and inventory purchases.

The sum invested was not disclosed.

“Changing the way choices are made expands the possibilities for direct-to-consumer selling, a new way of thinking, and ultimately changes the customer experience,” UST Global chief investment officer Sunil Kanchi said.

Tastry founder and chief executive Katerina Axelsson said the investment from UST Global will help the company expand its reach. “We leverage sensory science and artificial intelligence to improve every aspect of a store's sales,” she added.

UST Global and its subsidiaries, including those in India, cater to technology and innovation requirements of multinational corporations by providing solutions including digital customer engagement, data analytics, cloud consulting, product engineering, automation, and cybersecurity solutions.

The Temasek-backed company is promoted by the Indian-origin Chandaria family, with Paras Chandaria serving as its chairman. The family-owned Comcraft Group runs businesses in sectors such as steel, plastics and aluminium, with manufacturing facility operations in 45 countries.

Last month, UST Global invested in software testing and product company Smart Software Testing Solutions, which operates platforms dedicated to traditional PC-based systems and mobile applications.

In November last year, it made a strategic investment in Cogniphi Technologies Pvt Ltd, an artificial intelligence-based cognitive-tech startup headquartered in Kerala.

In September last year, the company acquired Bengaluru-based SeviTech Systems, a chip design services firm. At the time, UST said the acquisition would help ramp up its capabilities in chipmaking-related areas.

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