Novo Labs, a Dallas-based provider of conversational AI for restaurants, was acquired by SYNQ3 Restaurant Solutions, per CIBC Cleary Gull. The investment bank advised SYNQ3, a Colorado-based tech company that serves up restaurant automation, technology, and other off-premise solutions.
Novo Labs, which was founded in 2017 by Clinton Coleman and Jeff Loukas, turns voice interactions into digital transactions that can be personalized and optimized.
In 2019, Novo Labs was backed by Austin VC firm Silverton Partners as Coleman and Loukas built out their conversational commerce service to make restaurant ordering easier and more intelligent. Silverton led the startup’s $2 million seed round. With the financing, Silverton’s Roger Chen joined the company’s board of directors.
Phone orders and online ordering are a challenge for brick-and-mortar restaurants that operate on a thin margin, explained Chen at the time. Using the latest advances in machine learning, Novo Labs brought voice ordering service to large restaurant chains at a fraction of the cost of alternatives.
Coleman, who is CEO of Novo Labs, presented at Venture Dallas 2020 last summer. The CEO says the service is not a simple chatbot: The startup’s proprietary natural language processing stack handles the “real-world conditions” of how people talk when they place orders.
Novo Lab’s tech stack “is more accurate, scalable, and conversational than anything else out there,” he said.
The startup helped its customers “significantly expand” their phone order volumes and expanded to other voice channels in the pandemic, according to Coleman. In his Venture Dallas pitch, the CEO said Novo Labs has become the leader in phone order automation. So far in 2020, the startup’s services had more than 2 million fully automated voice interactions for more than 1,000 locations, he noted in September.
SYNQ3 started more than a decade ago and became the world’s leading call center, processing more than $1 billion in sales for its partner brands. In 2014, the company set its sights on becoming “the world’s leading restaurant innovation company.” But it’s a new world now: The company calls it “the restaurant 3.0 world.” The face of how restaurants do business will change dramatically, the company says.
SYNQ3 wants to use tech to bring personalization and depth back to the guest relationship, per the SYNQ3 website.
Now, Novo Labs will be part of that charge with SYNQ3.
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