Qloo: Cultural AI

Qloo is a New York-based startup that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to understand and predict consumer preferences across various cultural and entertainment domains. Founded in 2012 by Alex Elias and Jay Alger, the company focuses on uncovering nuanced taste and culture patterns. Qloo’s AI-powered insights engine leverages behavioral data from consumers worldwide to identify correlations that human intuition might miss. This enables businesses to deliver highly personalized experiences to their customers.

Idea and Product

Qloo’s primary product is an AI-driven insights platform that provides correlation data across multiple domains such as entertainment, fashion, travel, sports, and food. The platform predicts consumer behavior by analyzing preferences in one category to suggest relevant items in another. For example, understanding a user’s favorite TV shows can help predict their music preferences. Qloo’s technology is designed to help companies create more personalized and engaging customer experiences by understanding the intricate connections behind people’s tastes.


The market for AI-driven consumer insights is vast and growing, encompassing industries like entertainment, retail, travel, and food services. Companies are increasingly seeking ways to personalize their offerings to meet the diverse tastes of their customers. Qloo serves a broad range of clients, from small businesses to major corporations like Netflix, Starbucks, and Michelin. This diverse clientele highlights the wide applicability and demand for Qloo’s predictive analytics in enhancing customer engagement and driving revenue.

Business Model

Qloo generates revenue through a subscription-based model, charging companies a monthly fee to access its AI platform via APIs. The contracts typically start in the five-figure range, reflecting the high value of the insights provided. By offering a flexible API and soon a no-code self-service interface, Qloo makes its advanced AI capabilities accessible to a wide variety of businesses, enabling them to better understand and anticipate customer preferences.


Qloo’s technology is centered around its proprietary AI models that analyze trillions of connections between more than 575 million entities worldwide. The platform operates on a sophisticated AI-powered insights engine that processes millions of new cultural data points daily. This enables Qloo to provide highly contextualized personalization and deep insights into consumer behavior. The technology ensures privacy by not relying on personally identifiable information, adhering to stringent data privacy laws such as GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act.

Vision and Ambition

Qloo aims to become the leading AI platform for understanding and predicting consumer tastes globally. The company envisions a future where its AI models not only enhance personalization across various industries but also drive significant innovation in how businesses engage with their customers. By continuously expanding its data set and refining its AI capabilities, Qloo seeks to unlock new applications for its technology, such as generative itinerary planning and dynamic personalization.


The Qloo team is led by co-founders Alex Elias and Jay Alger. Elias, a graduate of NYU Law School with a background in internet privacy, brings a strong focus on ethical AI practices and data privacy. Alger, with his experience in digital marketing, complements Elias’s vision with his expertise in creating impactful marketing strategies. The company plans to expand its 50-person team to over 100 by the end of the year, leveraging new funding to attract top talent in AI development and data science.

Investors and Funding

Qloo has raised a total of $60 million, including a recent $25 million Series C round led by AI Ventures, with participation from AXA Venture Partners, Eldridge, and Moderne Ventures. The company has also secured investments from notable individuals like Leonardo DiCaprio and Elton John. This strong financial backing underscores investor confidence in Qloo’s technology and its potential to revolutionize consumer insights.

Achievements and Milestones

Since its inception, Qloo has achieved significant milestones, including acquiring TasteDive in 2019 to enhance its recommendation capabilities. The company serves over 60 major clients, including Netflix, Starbucks, and Michelin, demonstrating the effectiveness and scalability of its AI platform. Qloo’s ability to process and analyze vast amounts of data quickly has positioned it as a leader in the AI-driven insights market.

Challenges and Risks

One of the main challenges Qloo faces is maintaining high ethical standards while navigating complex privacy regulations. Ensuring data privacy and compliance with laws like GDPR requires continuous monitoring and adaptation of its AI models. Additionally, the competitive landscape, with companies like Dynamic Yield and Foursquare, poses a risk. However, Qloo’s unique approach to data privacy and its comprehensive AI capabilities provide a competitive edge.

Jobs and Careers

Qloo is on a growth trajectory and actively seeking to expand its team. The company is looking for professionals in AI development, data science, and ethical AI practices. With plans to double its team size, Qloo offers exciting career opportunities for individuals passionate about leveraging AI to understand and predict consumer behavior. The company emphasizes a culture of ethical AI development and innovation, making it an attractive workplace for tech enthusiasts.

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