Proxy Foods raises $2.3m to grow AI-based recipe formulation platform

By Ryan Daily

- Last updated on GMT

Image Credit: Getty Images - da-kuk
Image Credit: Getty Images - da-kuk

Related tags AI Product development

AI-based company Proxy Foods has raised $2.3m in a seed round to grow its food and beverage recipe formulation platform and expand its team, as AI technologies provide product developers tools to respond to consumer trends faster, company Co-founder and CEO Panos Kostopulos told FoodNavigator-USA.

The seed round was supported by investor Ted Leonsis; Ike Grigoropoulos, managing partner for CAVA; Ted Xenohristos, CAVA co-founder and chief concept officer; chef and CAVA co-founder Dimitri Moshovitis; Anthony Nader and Fredrick Schaufeld from SWaN & Legend Venture Partners; Robert G. Hisaoka, chairman and CEO of RGH Capital; food industry veteran and advisor to Proxy Foods Richard Ware, and other investors. 

The money raised from the fund will go to building out Proxy Foods’ team of data scientists and software developers and further investing in its stores of data, Kostopulos explained. Proxy Foods uses a combination of proprietary and public data — data that can be used, analyzed, and reshared freely — to generate insight for food and beverage developers to use in the product-development process. 

"We're at the leading edge of an era where AI and R&D food development are not just potential partners but actual collaborators. With advanced machine learning, we are not only enriching the industry's knowledge but also transforming how discoveries are made. Working with investors who share and support our vision passionately has been key to our success, allowing us to expand the limits of innovation," Petros Mandalis, Proxy Foods co-founder, shared in a press release.

Funding plan: Expanding the team, focusing on data

Food and beverage product developers can use the platform to create recipes and new products and reformulate existing products through a central platform, which includes an ingredient database and AI-generated data and analytics.

The Proxy Foods platform also provides product developers information on a host of product attributes — from taste and nutrients — to raw ingredients, Kostopulos said.

"When we talk about data, we have different data areas and different levels of data. The level of data, you can go from molecule to compound to ingredient to a recipe to a product that's going to end up in a SKU. So, you have different levels of information. We're focusing on the areas that we think are the most important for the consumers,” Kostopulos said. “This is the sensory organoleptic properties — the taste, aroma, mouthfeel, [and] appearance — nutrient, and cost." 

The platform is also designed to shrink the gap that exists between developing — and ultimately, releasing a product — and current consumer trends, Kostopulos explained. Developing any product can take years, and by then, consumers might have moved on from the trend, he added.

CPG companies can also import their data to Proxy Foods' platform to create recipes that are even more tailor-made for their audience, he said. Any company data shared with Proxy Foods won’t be used to train its algorithm, and the company adheres to all global data regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Kostopulos assured.

“We enhance the algorithm based on each company individually. So, the data that are being trained for its company are not being used to train other companies at the same time because number one you have to treat them carefully. And number two, not what is important for one company is important for another company to have different goals.”

The platform is available to use per a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model — a monthly subscription for a fixed amount — and pricing is based on the number of platform users and overall usage, which makes the platform accessible to both large CPG companies and startups, Kostopulos said.

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