May 13, 2020

Our Investment in ConverseNow

When was the last time you called into your nearest Domino’s to place a pizza order, or took your car through the local drive-thru to grab a quick bite? With the current pandemic, these and other “contactless” methods have grown ever more popular, QSR challenges are even more pronounced.

Paul Sethi

Adding to that, dine-in restaurants have fallen by the wayside.

So with quick-service restaurant (QSR) demand on the uptick, everyday QSR challenges are more pronounced - including the high-turnover and inconsistency of staffing, and inability to upsell consumers.  

Enter the solution.

Today, we are excited to announce our seed investment in Austin-based disruptor ConverseNow, alongside Bala Investments, LiveOak Venture Partners, Tensility Venture Partners, Knoll Ventures, Bridge Investments and Ken Neeld (CEO of Delphi Display Systems).

ConverseNow’s platform uses highly-nuanced speech technology and custom AI/ML models, to continuously learn from customer ordering behavior, and to drive end-to-end customer conversations.  The ‘AI as a Service’ platform can automate and personalize restaurant order-taking via all high-volume voice channels, including phone ordering, drive-thru and self-service kiosks. To date, ConverseNow is deployed at leading QSRs, showing ROI from Day 1.

Staffing challenges, including consistency of training and high turnover, have persisted for decades, making it difficult for QSR owners and franchisees to proactively drive revenues.  And natural demand surges at peak mealtime hours for all restaurants, which further exacerbates the situation.  QSR owners + franchisees are looking for ways to streamline their non-core ordering processes and equally, to create consistent customer upsell opportunities.

With ConverseNow, staffing challenges are mitigated, and can be consistent and predictable, driving operational savings; and in its earliest deployments with leading QSRs, ConverseNow has already shown a measurable 25% increase in order value.

Most importantly, we invested in founders Vinay and Rahul because they bring a unique combination of vision, proven execution, and drive and determination, positioning ConverseNow to revolutionize the restaurant voice tech industry.

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