Proprietary Voice AI platform developer kea has secured $2.8m in a seed round of funding to expand its intelligent phone order platform, for franchises and quick service restaurants (QSRs).

The funding round was led by various participating investors including Streamlined Ventures, Xfund, Deepcore, Silicon Valley Angels Raj Kapoor, Dustin Dolginow and Tyler Willis, and restaurant industry entrepreneurs Tony Lam and Craig Flom.

In addition to scaling its platform, the technology firm is planning to use the funds to expand its franchise and QSR customer base.

kea founder and CEO Adam Ahmad said: “Despite popular belief, most food orders at franchises are still taken by phone. But employees often can’t manage in-store service while taking phone orders, so the phone rings and rings and the result is lost revenue and poor customer service.

“At many franchises, 40% of all revenue is coming from phone orders. When you combine this with ongoing margin pressure and employee dissatisfaction, the need for kea’s platform becomes quite clear.”

According to the company, the ordering platform can serve unlimited phone orders simultaneously and provides significant meal bundling opportunities.

It also focusses on making suggestions such as types of drinks and snacks based on customer needs by using the data related to specific orders, as well as enhance customer experience for each individual restaurant.

kea advisor and angel investor Adam Marchick said: “Tech startups often develop intriguing technologies that don’t solve pre-existing business problems.

“kea addresses very real revenue concerns and has the potential to quickly and positively impact the $825bn restaurant industry.”