somm: An App That Elevates The Culinary Experience

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a strong test of the resilience of the hospitality and beverage alcohol sectors. 

As they continue to battle through the effects of the economic restrictions, the timing of the arrival of the innovative new app somm™ couldn’t be better. 

somm™ is the first of its kind B2B and B2C foodtech company that accurately automates food and beverage pairings for every situation, location and context. Starting with wine, the team is creating the world’s first intuitive virtual sommelier (thus the name somm™) for consumers, intuitive digital menus for hospitality partners and a logistics-free marketplace for everyone. 

Through AI and Machine Learning technology, sommTM solves known, common problems for consumers and the hospitality industry alike. somm™ takes the guesswork out of wine – no matter where its users may be – at home, a restaurant or a store. Even the LCBO. It’s user experience is simple and seamless, and its partnerships across the hospitality sector are designed to be accretive and complementary. 

Conceived in summer 2020, with its Toronto launch in December, the company closed its Angel financing round last year and is now embarking on its first institutional venture capital raise. Since incorporating the company only six months ago, the group has swiftly moved to establish relationships with some of Toronto’s most well known hospitality players including Ascari Group, Distillery Group, Happy, Pearl Morissette, Cave Springs and Boxcar Social, among others.  

somm™ takes advantage of three main pillars in the market: i) hospitality’s catalytic embrace of technology, ii) an archaic regulatory framework that is ripe for disruption, with positive change already happening as a result of the pandemic, and  iii) shifts in consumer behaviour towards e-commerce and local discovery. 

The company is proudly founded by women, led by women and to date, has been largely financially backed by women. It’s a rare trifecta that makes  somm™ stand out — globally.  Chief Executive Jennifer, 32, has a capital markets background and is a former VP for the algorithmic trading team at TD Securities. She was the recipient of Canada’s Women in Capital Markets Emerging Leaders Award in 2016 and the New York-based Markets Media & Traders Magazine Rising Star Award in 2017.

Alongside Jennifer, the team includes technologists from some of Canada’s tech darlings like Shopify and Wealthsimple, as well as three esteemed hospitality professionals — a former GM of Alo, a Sommelier from Relais and Chateaux Property, Langdon Hall, and one of only five Master Sommeliers in the nation. 

An exciting future lies ahead for somm™ with downloads growing by the day and a national expansion plan in the books for the year ahead. 

somm™ is available across Canada on both Android and iOS. Learn more about somm™ at bethesomm.com; or join the somm™ social community on Instagram @bethesomm, Twitter @bethesomm or Facebook at /bethesomm

Based in Toronto, somm is a tech company founded, led and majority invested in by women to revolutionize and democratize wine for everyone. somm is the smarter way for you to pick wine, regardless of your knowledge, your location, budget, occasion or food options. No more staring blankly at restaurant wine menus, feeling anxious or overwhelmed by the world of wine, and no more aimless meandering around wine shops without really understanding what you’re doing and what you want. somm™ is all about simplifying wine, and making it more approachable, inclusive and accessible to everyone.

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