The Israeli AI-powered food trends prediction and intelligence startup Tastewise announced Wednesday it has raised $5 million in a Series A funding round.
The round was led by PeakBridge, a Malta-based investment firm specializing in foodtech. Last year, Pico Venture Partners provided Tastewise with $1.5 million in seed funding.
The company’s total funding to date is $6.5 million
The Series A round will be used to continue the development of Tastewise’s AI tech, which focuses on the understanding of human interactions with food, the company said, adding that it hopes to further “train its AI to comprehend the deep human motivation around food trends” and gather insights that may shape the future of the industry.
“We’re looking forward to deepen the understanding of consumer needs and trends by using AI that comprehends human behavior around eating and drinking,” said Tastewise co-founder Alon Chen. “We are delighted to partner with PeakBridge’s team of experts and executives from Nestlé, Mars, Pepsi and Sequoia Partners, as we build toward creating a smarter, better food industry powered by AI and food intelligence.”
Alongside the announcement of raised funds, Tastewise released a functional foods report, providing deeper insight into the latest food trends. The report, called Putting Food To Work in the Age of Wellness, spotlights sleep, stress relief, energy, weight loss, wellness, brain health, anti-aging, and gut health as various influential functions of food.
“For F&B [food and beverage] brands, understanding motivations and identifying the desired functions of food and beverage has become a crucial step in producing new, engaging products,” the report says, “Once you know which functions interest consumers, you can create products to suit growing consumer needs in the relevant format.”
Founded in 2017 by Eyal Gaon and Chen, once Google’s chief marketing officer for Israel and Greece and global lead for the World Economic Forum, Tastewise gains actionable insights into real-life interactions with food by analyzing 1 billion food photos shared every month alongside the largest restaurant menu database available today, with over 18,000 US restaurants featured on it. The company already works with Fortune 500 food and beverage companies.
“We’re dedicated to supporting companies that are focused on high-impact foodtech insights and solutions, like Tastewise, as they expand their AI platform development to gain deeper insights about trends that will change the future of the food industry,” said Erich Sieber, the founder and managing partner of PeakBridge, the specialized foodtech venture fund that led the Series A round.
“As FoodTech investors, we’ve evaluated hundreds of companies’ impact on the market. Tastewise is absolutely a company that is on the path towards revolutionizing the food industry with deep data-based consumer understanding.”
PeakBridge Venture Partner Rick Borenstein, chairman of Sequoia Partners and a former president of Wells Fargo investment company, will join as Tastewise’s board member.