- Incentivio, an guest engagement platform for restaurants, has closed $10 million in Series A funding, the company announced Wednesday.
- The funding was led by Osage Venture Partners, a venture capital firm that has partnered with entrepreneurs that have built early-stage, business-to-business technology, with participation from Ardent Venture Capital and Grotech Ventures.
- Incentivio, which focuses on small- and medium-size businesses, plans to invest in market initiatives that will accelerate growth as well as product, engineering and innovation.
Incentivio’s next stage of growth will focus on continued innovate using artificial intelligence and machine learning to help its clients reduce “manual intervention, cut costs and increase revenue based on their own data.”
The company, which said it grew 300% year-over-year, currently works with thousands of restaurants to consolidate their tech stacks, yield better guest insight and use guest data to improve the digital experience. Its partner chains include Hot Table, Massis Kabob, Wing It On, and Hava Java, according to Incentivio’s website.
"The pandemic accelerated restaurants' need to evolve with the times and adopt more of a digital presence. Now most restaurants are looking to take their digital guest experience to the next level while simplifying their tech stack," Rajat Bhakhri, Incentivio’s CEO and co-founder, said in the press release. "Most small to medium-sized restaurant groups simply do not have the resources to compete with the largest enterprise brands who have multi-million dollar budgets and large IT teams.”
This fresh capital comes at a critical time for the development of AI within the restaurant industry, which many legacy chains are testing and starting to adopt. Wendy’s said in May that it is testing Google’s drive-thru chatbot and is piloting an autonomous underground delivery system for pickup orders. Sweetgreen opened its first automated kitchen this month. CKE is testing three different AI companies for drive-thru.
Food tech funding has also slowed for startups and tech firms amid inflationary conditions, though some companies continue to attract investment. Drone operator Flyby secured $4 million in funding in April while bot delivery company Kiwibot gained $10 million in financing the same month. RoboBurger gained $10 million to scale production of its cooking robot in October.