Kea raises $10M to build AI that helps restaurants answer the phone – TechCrunch

Kea raises $10M to build AI that helps restaurants answer the phone – TechCrunch

Kea is a new beginning that allows restaurants to upgrade one of the more old-fashioned ways on the phone.

Today, Kia is announcing the participation of Streamlide Ventures, Exfund, Heartland Ventures, DEPCOR, Barrel Ventures and AVG Funds, as well as angel investor Raj Kapoor (Chief Strategic Officer in the Left). Also, a series led by Marburk has collected 10 million Series A. ), Craig Foam (who was part of the founding team at Panra Brad), Wingstop franchise Tony Lam and five-boy franchise Jonathan Kelly

Founder and CEO Adam Ahmed said the restaurant is not under constant pressure, they usually don’t have anyone to answer the phone. (Many of you will probably be familiar with the experience of calling a restaurant and making an immediate stop.)

At the same time, he suggested that it remains an important ordering channel – especially during epidemics, as takeout and delivery has become the largest source in many restaurants. Helen Rosner of New York put it off very easily when she suggested that anyone who wanted to support the restaurant should “pick up his phone.”

Similarly, Ahmed said that for restaurants, paying substantial third-party ordering fees on all their orders is “not a sustainable long-term strategy.” So Key is offering technology that should help the restaurant handle more orders over the phone, which Ahmed calls a “virtual cashier” that can make initial intakes with customers, process routine orders and Can take a human employee if needed.

The idea of ​​an auto voice assistant can bring back unpleasant memories of trying to call your bank or another Byzantine customer service department. But Ahmed said that although most existing phone systems are “not smart”, Kea’s AI is very different, as it only focuses on restaurant orders.

“We’re doing a very closed domain,” he said. “In the pizza world, there are only 2,000 permits. We’re not innovating for the whole dictionary – it’s a limited model, it’s a menu.”

In fact, Kea’s team gave me a dialing number where I could try the system for myself. It was a straightforward and easy process, where I provided my address and then my pizza order details. And again, these would mean that you have to spend for these processes. (In fact, I was mistakenly moved during my demo, which quickly embarrassed me.)

Kee already resides in more than 250 restaurants, including Papa Johns, Donatos and Prementi Brothers, and says he’s saving an average of 10 hours a week, in average order. 23% increase. With new funding, Ahmed aims to bring Kea to 1,000 restaurants in 37 states by 2021.

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