Restaurants that use ConverseNow’s AI technology platform can reduce costs, and increase productivity and efficiency, according to the company.
And that has led to tremendous growth, said Benjamin Brown, ConverseNow’s vice president of marketing.
Today, more than 1,200 restaurants in 40 states use ConverseNow’s technology to take orders from customers. Its customers include Domino’s Pizza, Fazoli’s, and Blake’s Lotaburger.
To fuel its growth, ConverseNow recently closed on $10 million in funding in partnership with Enlightened Hospitality Investments, the growth equity fund co-founded by Danny Meyer, the founder of Union Square Hospitality Group and Shake Shack.
“We’ve seen a dramatic shift in the way consumers engage with restaurants over the past two years, and for restaurants to earn customer loyalty today they must deliver memorable experiences. Our team is thrilled to partner with ConverseNow as the company drives innovation in the restaurant industry by enabling team members to spend more time interacting with guests where they can bring hospitality to the forefront of their offering,” Meyer said
ConverseNow previously closed on a $15 million Series A round, bringing its total funding to $28.8 million. The company has 100 employees and its Austin headquarters is based at WeWork in the Domain. It also has employees in India and Argentina.
ConverseNow created a patented order-taking system that uses virtual assistants in English and Spanish.
During the pandemic, the company’s technology got a huge boost as restaurants looked for ways to automate their order-taking processes, Brown said.
The funding allows ConverseNow to meet demand and enter new markets.
“We are incredibly honored to partner with the hospitality leaders at EHI and USHG as we look forward to our next phase of growth,” Vinay Shukla, co-founder, and CEO of ConverseNow, said in a news release. “Even after last year’s 12X revenue growth, we’ve come a long way in 2022. Just about every restaurant chain is looking at voice AI, and naturally coming to us as the category market leader. Demand is very strong, and one of our biggest challenges has been ramping up our AI to keep up with this demand, so an additional round was necessary to accommodate this customer growth without needing to raise a full Series B.”
ConverseNow has helped restaurants boost same-store sales by up to 30%, increase average tickets by up to 20%, and provide up to 12 hours of additional labor per store each week.
“We’ve seen remarkable results with the customers we’re live with now. Our engineering and product teams have made the impossible possible, and now it’s time to scale these efforts to deploy with more brands, in more stores,” said Rahul Aggarwal, Co-Founder, COO, and Chief Product Officer for ConverseNow. “We’ve developed a robust product suite with a growing list of patents to train the AI quicker, integrate with necessary hardware and software providers, and provide analytics for each operator to unlock never-before-seen insights. We’re excited to bring this value to many more leading restaurants.”