DoorDash seeks AI startup talent to boost voice ordering

(Bloomberg) — DoorDash Inc. is hiring senior members from artificial intelligence startup Standard AI to strengthen its voice ordering product for restaurant customers.

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Former Standard AI CEO Jordan Fisher and co-founders Brandon Ogle and Daniel Fischetti are among those joining the San Francisco-based delivery app. The startup, a retail-technology company founded in 2017, has raised more than $260 million from investors including SoftBank Vision Fund and EQT Ventures, according to PitchBook. It was valued at $1 billion in its latest funding round in 2021.

At DoorDash, which sells enterprise technology to restaurant operators in addition to operating its consumer delivery app, the new hires will focus on an AI product the company introduced last August that helps restaurants take phone orders. The company says it is in talks with a number of mid-market and enterprise restaurants about participating in product testing, including several notable pizza partners.

A DoorDash spokesperson declined to disclose terms of the deal, but said it included fewer than 10 hires and no product licenses.

DoorDash, America’s largest food delivery company, is the latest among technology companies to hire employees from AI startups to accelerate their offering amid fierce competition in product and talent.

Last week, Microsoft Corp laid off Inflexion AI’s co-founders as well as most of its employees. Bloomberg News reported earlier this month that Apple Inc. bought Canadian startup DarwinAI earlier this year and absorbed dozens of its employees into the iPhone maker’s AI division. Last year, Airbnb Inc. had acquired a stealth 12-person AI startup led by former Apple executives behind the voice assistant Siri.

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