Qloo Inc. that calls itself as a “cultural recommendation engine” has caught the attention of Academy award-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio. Qloo’s recent round of venture funding saw the actor pumping in his money into the startup. Qloo collectively raised USD 4.5 million and saw Starwood Hotels founder Barry Sternlicht, Pierre Lagrange of GLG Partners and Adriaan Lightenberg’s AllMobile Fund investing along with other individual angel investors.
We all know about Leo’s love for startups. The actor’s investment portfolio includes everything from a trash startup that uses a quirky software to allow independent waste haulers bid on picking up trash from business customers to the popular mattress startup Casper that eliminates the role of commission-driven intermediaries to deliver their comfort mattress direct to door.
And this time, Leo’s taste is no less eccentric. Qloo has “mapped the taste genome” by mining massive amounts of proprietary and open-source data online to churn out answers to hot questions for brands and advertisers regarding preferences of their target audience for simple things like food, music, TV etc.
“We’ve mapped more than 125 billion cultural correlations and make the intelligence available to individuals, developers, and brands”, Qloo stated on its website.
For instance, in an NBA finals face-off between Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors in Ohio, Qloo will help advertisers and sponsors figure out the common ground of liking between the fans of the two teams including their taste in music and love for brands like Nike and Adidas, thus allowing them to target both types of audience at the same time.
According to the startup’s co-founder and CEO Alex Elias, Qloo has been used by hotels to provide digital concierge services, by e-commerce firms to gather eye-balls for new products and by entertainment companies to guide choices on location, casting and soundtracks.
Further, the company wants to expand its reach by working with hotels and resorts, restaurants, media and entertainment, and even connected cars for personalised navigation or entertainment recommendations.
With the new Series A funding, the company has raised USD 7.5 million in total capital. Cedric Kyle (a.k.a Cedric the Entertainer) and Tommy Thompson founding partner of Cross Creek Pictures are amongst Qloo’s earlier seed investors.