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Type of site
HeadquartersNew York City
Founder(s)Alex Elias
Jay Alger
Artificial Intelligence

Qloo (pronounced "clue") is a company that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to understand taste and cultural correlations. It provides companies with an application programming interface (API).[1] It received funding from Leonardo DiCaprio, Elton John, Barry Sternlicht, Pierre Lagrange and others.

Qloo establishes consumer preference correlations via machine learning across data spanning cultural domains including music, film, television, dining, nightlife, fashion, books and travel. The recommender system uses AI to predict correlations for further applications.[1]


Qloo was founded in 2012 by chief executive officer Alex Elias and chief operating officer Jay Alger.[2] Qloo was tested on a private website in April 2012. In 2012, Qloo raised $1.4 million in seed funding from investors including Cedric the Entertainer, Danny Masterson, and venture capital firm Kindler Capital.[3][4][5] Qloo had a public beta release in November 2012 after its initial funding.[6][7]

In 2013, the company raised an additional $1.6 million from Cross Creek Pictures founding partner Tommy Thompson, and Samih Toukan and Hussam Khoury, founders of Maktoob, an Internet services company purchased by Yahoo! for $164 million in 2009.[8] On November 14, 2013, a website and an iPhone app were announced.[9][10] The company later released an Android app, and tablet versions, in mid-2014.[4]

In 2016, Qloo secured $4.5 million in venture capital investment.[11] The $4.5 million was split between a number of investors, including Barry Sternlicht, Pierre Lagrange and Leonardo DiCaprio.[12] In July 2017, Qloo raised $6.5 million in funding rounds from AXA Strategic Ventures and Elton John.[13][14]

Following the investment, the founders stated in an interview with Tech Crunch that they would use the investment to expand Qloo's database. They hoped the move would secure larger contracts with corporate clients.[12] At the time, clients already included Fortune 500 companies such as Twitter, PepsiCo and BMW.[15]

In 2019, the company announced that it had acquired cultural recommendation service TasteDive, with Alex Elias becoming chairman of TasteDive.[16]

Services and features[edit]

Qloo calls itself a cultural AI platform to provide real-time correlation data across domains of culture and entertainment including: film, music, television, dining, nightlife, fashion, books and travel.[17] Each category contains subcategories.[18]

Qloo’s knowledge of a user's taste in one category can be utilized to offer suggestions in other categories.[6][5] Users then rate the suggestions, providing it with feedback for future suggestions.[10][8][3][10][19] Qloo has partnerships with companies such as Expedia and iTunes.[8]


  1. ^ a b Kolodny, Lora. "Leonardo DiCaprio, Barry Sternlicht back Qloo, a cultural recommendation engine". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2016-06-15.
  2. ^ Jon Swartz, “Getting a Qloo on where to find similar tastes,” USA Today, November 8, 2012.
  3. ^ a b Lora Kolodny, “Cedric The Entertainer: Building An Audience Is Like Building A Startup,” Wall Street Journal, November 19, 2013.
  4. ^ a b Todd Spangler, “Recommendation App Qloo Raises $1.6 Mil from Investors Including Producer Tommy Thompson,” Variety, November 14, 2013.
  5. ^ a b Catherine Shu, “With $3M In Funding, Qloo Launches To Let You Discover Interesting Content In Eight Categories,” TechCrunch, November 14, 2013.
  6. ^ a b Brian Anthony Hernandez, “Qloo Finds New Things For You To Watch, Read, Listen, Eat and Wear,” Mashable, November 29, 2012.
  7. ^ Ki Mae Heussner, “With $1.4M, Qloo finds films, fashion, food and more that match your taste,” GigaOm, November 8, 2012.
  8. ^ a b c Paul Bond, “New Digital Firm Qloo Raises $3 Million From Hollywood Insiders,” The Hollywood Reporter, November 14, 2013.
  9. ^ Shu, Catherine. "With $3M In Funding, Qloo Launches To Let You Discover Interesting Content In Eight Categories". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-09-27.
  10. ^ a b c Matthew Flamm, “Cedric the Entertainer gets a Qloo,” Crain's New York Business, November 14, 2013.
  11. ^ "Recommendation service Qloo closes Series A with DiCaprio as a backer". Biz Journals. June 15, 2016.
  12. ^ a b Kolodny, Lora (June 15, 2016). "Leonardo DiCaprio, Barry Sternlicht back Qloo, a cultural recommendation engine". TechCrunch.
  13. ^ "Elton John invests in Qloo, a startup that analyzes your taste". OneClick. Retrieved 2017-10-06.
  14. ^ Ha, Anthony. "Elton John invests in Qloo, a startup that analyzes your taste". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-10-06.
  15. ^ Chakrapani, Harini (June 15, 2016). "Leonardo DiCaprio is the latest celebrity to invest in this Manhattan startup". Crain Communications.
  16. ^ Qloo acquires cultural recommendation service TasteDive TechCrunch, 2/13/2019.
  17. ^ Alan McGlade, “Cracking The Code For Film Marketing,” Forbes, December 27, 2013.
  18. ^ Dani Fankhauser, “If You Like Taylor Swift’s Music, You Might Enjoy These Books,” Mashable, December 21, 2013.
  19. ^ Sara Clayton, “Alumnus creates standout recommendation app,” Daily Trojan, January 14, 2014.

External links[edit]

Official website