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Qloo seeks $25M to anticipate your preferences in movies, TV, and more.

GenAI, the most popular AI, generates photos, emails, music, and more quickly. In the long term, AI may be better at finding unexpected relationships than humans. For instance, horror movie fans may explore strange foods, while comedy fans may listen to real crime podcasts.

Qloo, a New York company, uses AI to grasp these complex tastes and cultural trends. Qloo, founded in 2012 by Alex Elias and Jay Alger, studies consumer trends in entertainment, fashion, travel, sports, cuisine, and other areas.

Elias, an NYU Law School graduate, founded Qloo after seeing a need for “taste knowledge.”

He told Eltrys, “As a passionate advocate for culture — I play the tenor saxophone and piano, and have a deep appreciation for midcentury cinema — I saw the fragmented world of taste knowledge.” I realized that although Spotify, Expedia, and Netflix controlled their sectors establishing data silos, there was a lack of a unified system that could comprehend and anticipate various personal likes across domains without using identity-based data.

Elias and Alger, who ran Deepend, founded Qloo.

Qloo provides enterprises with AI-generated correlation data on cinema, tourism, nightlife, literature, and more. Using a user’s TV preferences to propose games, the platform may provide recommendations in another area.

Elias said that Qloo uses an AI-powered insights engine to analyze global customer behavior. “Qloo’s AI models can find trillions of connections between entities. With a thorough awareness of consumer behavior for over 575 million entities globally, our technology provides contextualized customization and deep insights into taste correlations.

That’s a lot of personal data Qloo handles, which worried this writer. Everything comes from and is kept where? Elias wouldn’t answer, but he said Qloo doesn’t use personally identifying information and follows GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act.

He added that Qloo’s Ethics Policy stresses ethical, transparent, and responsible AI research and deployment, data protection, and security. “Qloo upholds the highest standards of data privacy and security and will not leverage any personally identifiable information or copyrighted information in any modeling pipelines.”

Elias says that large clients are using Qloo to power their product experiences. Starbucks uses Qloo to generate neighborhood-specific in-store music playlists. The platform lets Hershey’s design varied confectionery packs. Qloo provides Michelin Guide app suggestions. Netflix uses Qloo’s software to find demographically relevant performers for merchandising.

Qloo’s ~60 clients, including PepsiCo, Samsung, The New York Mets, BuzzFeed, and Ticketmaster, are contributing to its profitability. The firm earns money by charging monthly API membership fees; Elias claims contracts start in the “five figures.”

Qloo intends to grow after raising $25 million in a Series C round with participation from AI Ventures, AXA Venture Partners, Eldridge, and Moderne Ventures. The firm is also launching a “multi-person recommendation AI,” which can match the profiles of any two individuals in Qloo’s database depending on their interests, and a self-service research tool for marketers and medium- and small-business clients. It appears in dating applications, says Elias.

The tailwinds from privacy and AI have considerably outweighed any tech slowdown, Elias added. Qloo has witnessed broad contract extensions from current customers wanting to consume additional data domains and taste expertise and solve new use cases like generative itinerary planning and dynamic customization utilizing their AI. Qloo is also witnessing demand from new target areas like real estate and faster sales cycles despite greater regulatory requirements.

Qloo wants to “pursue opportunistic M&A” using the additional funding and grow from 50 to 100 employees by year’s end. Qloo purchased TasteDive, an entertainment recommendation engine, in 2019, and Elias hinted about similar strategic acquisitions.

Juliet P.
Author: Juliet P.

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