Food Tech Innovator Halla Raises $1.4 Million Seed Round to Expand Personalization Technology for Online Grocers

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Investment led by E&A Venture Capital with participation from SOSV

From Left: Halla Co-Founders Spencer Price (CEO), Henry Michaelson (CTO) and Gabriel Nipote (COO).

This new round of funding will allow us to scale our Halla I/O offering and we look forward to continuing to partner with our customers and investors to transform the e-grocery shopping experience.

Halla, an AI company focused on personalized recommendations for the food ordering industry, announced today $1.4 million in seed funding, led by early stage food industry investor E&A Venture Capital with participation from multi-stage technology investor SOSV.

The funding round follows Halla’s 2018 release of its “Intelligent Ordering” platform, Halla I/O. Using Machine Learning technology built on the psychography of food selection, Halla I/O increases order volume and frequency for online grocers and helps consumers effortlessly make smarter food ordering choices and new food discoveries based on their preferences.

The $1.4M seed round brings the total equity raised by Halla to $1.9M. Halla will use the funding to scale its I/O platform, onboard new customers and further develop its AI technology. Halla I/O is currently being used in stealth mode by several regional and national grocery chains.

“We know 35% of Amazon’s product sales are generated by recommendations, while personalized shopping recommendations in the e-grocery space are still very underdeveloped,” said Adam Haber, of funding round lead E&A Venture Capital. “We think there’s tremendous opportunity for growth in this space.”

After several years of strong double-digit growth, 49% of grocery shoppers currently buy at least some consumer packaged goods online, according to a report developed by The Food Marketing Institute and Nielsen. The report predicts that online grocery shopping will quadruple by 2022, reaching $100 billion in annual sales. Effective personalization and forecasting are cited as key imperatives for grocers to capitalize on this opportunity.

“We remain committed to our personalized recommendation platform, which is built around a proprietary “food logic” algorithm to result in bigger orders and better predictive analytics for grocers, and higher customer satisfaction for e-grocery shoppers,” said Spencer Price, co-founder of Halla. “This new round of funding will allow us to scale our Halla I/O offering and we look forward to continuing to partner with our customers and investors to transform the e-grocery shopping experience.”

About Halla:
Halla is an AI company focused on personalization for the food ordering industry. Using Machine Learning technologies built around the psychography of food selection and billions of food-related data points, Halla’s core offering Halla I/O (Intelligent Ordering) helps online grocers, meal kit services and food delivery businesses offer highly personalized food ordering suggestions to their customers. Last year, Halla was one out of eight startups selected to participate in Food-X, the first and most active food innovation accelerator in the world.

About E&A Venture Capital:
E&A Venture Capital is the investment vehicle for early stage investors and veteran commodity traders Edward Bernstein and Adam Haber. E&A’s previous investments have included successful ventures in the food space, including sustainable food products company Mamma Chia and fast-growing independent grocery chain Green Zebra.

About SOSV:
SOSV is a multi-stage venture capital investor committed to accelerate founders’ big ideas for positive change. It has provided seed, venture and growth stage capital to over 700 startups, netting an IRR among the top 10% of all venture funds worldwide. SOSV also runs vertical accelerator programs specific to industries, including Food-X in New York City, for food innovation. The fund retains over 600 global mentors with deep market and technical expertise to help startups go further, faster.

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Laurel Getz
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