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SoundHound AI Expands Voice AI Ordering for Restaurants

SoundHound AI announced Tuesday (June 18) its acquisition of key assets from Allset, an online food ordering platform, in a move that bolsters the voice artificial intelligence company’s presence in the restaurant industry.

The deal, whose financial terms were not disclosed, brings Allset’s nearly 7,000 restaurant partners and engineering talent under SoundHound’s umbrella. It also positions the company to accelerate its development of voice-enabled food ordering systems for cars, TVs and smart devices.

Artificial intelligence (AI)-powered speech technology is a growing sector. As PYMNTS recently reported, McDonald’s has ended its partnership with IBM to develop an AI-powered drive-thru system, opting to remove the technology from over 100 restaurants. The fast-food giant’s decision highlights both the challenges and opportunities in implementing AI voice-ordering systems amid industrywide labor shortages and the push for streamlined operations.

SoundHound, which already works with over 10,000 restaurant locations, sees voice AI as a transformative technology for the food service industry. The company’s systems can handle customer orders, understand multiple languages, and integrate directly with point-of-sale systems.

“Together, we plan to provide dynamic and convenient ways for people to order food and complete a range of other transactions just by speaking naturally,” Keyvan Mohajer, CEO and co-founder of SoundHound AI, said in a news release.

The acquisition comes as restaurants increasingly turn to technology to streamline operations and reduce costs. Voice AI systems promise to improve efficiency by automating order-taking and freeing up staff for other tasks.

Founded in 2015, Allset built its business on providing a platform for local food pickup, allowing restaurants and consumers to avoid the high fees associated with delivery apps. The company, backed by investors including Andreessen Horowitz, will bring marketplace experience to SoundHound.

“From the beginning, we realized that we share the same vision for the voice commerce ecosystem that elevates the consumer experience,” Stas Matviyenko, CEO and co-founder of Allset, who will join SoundHound along with his team, said in the news release.

The merger of Allset’s restaurant relationships and SoundHound’s voice AI technology could accelerate the adoption of voice-enabled ordering across various platforms. This aligns with broader industry trends, as tech giants and startups alike race to integrate voice assistants into everyday consumer interactions.

As voice recognition technology continues to improve, industry analysts expect voice commerce to grow significantly in the coming years. For SoundHound, the Allset acquisition represents a strategic move to capitalize on this trend and strengthen its position in the competitive voice AI market.

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