Halla Strengthens Leadership Team with New Chief Marketing Officer

Advisor Toby Blue joins the Taste Intelligence company in a new role to further accelerate the startup’s rapid growth

Halla, the Taste Intelligence company and creator of the only human preference engine designed for grocery, announced that Toby Blue—who has been an advisor to the company—has joined as the Chief Marketing Officer, effective immediately. In this role, Blue will manage the overall brand and oversee the marketing and communications strategies to further accelerate the company’s rapid growth.

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Halla’s AI-based technology leverages over 100 billion shopper and product data points to predict, with remarkable accuracy, what grocery shoppers are actually looking for, and delivers real-time personalized substitutions, recommendations and search results. The company recently announced a $4.5M Series A1 raise, bringing its total funding to $8.5M, and is deployed in over 1,100 ecommerce storefronts for a top-5 U.S. grocer, driving best-in-class digital ad media performance and improvement in ecommerce profitability.

“To win in digital grocery, grocers need a level of personalization that matches the complexity and uniqueness of personal human tastes,” said Blue. “Halla is the only personalization company in the marketplace today with the ability to genuinely fulfill this need. Halla has put together a fantastic team that includes staff, investors, and advisors who ensure that we have the intellectual capital to serve clients well and develop the company correctly. I feel very lucky to be joining the team in a full-time capacity to support Halla’s growth.”

Prior to Halla, Blue spent 20 years managing companies in the fields of technology, marketing, and entertainment. He co-founded Petrol Advertising in 2003 and led its growth to over 100 employees, launching franchises that included Call of Duty for Activision. Toby then became multiple Grammy Award winning artist and entrepreneur will.i.am’s COO, striking and managing joint ventures with Adidas, The Coca-Cola Company, Levis, Apple and Intel, and helping to launch the tech startup i.am+, where he participated in raising millions in capital and was the General Manager for its most successful product, i.am+ Buttons earphones, driving a campaign that included Kendall JennerNaomi Campbell and André Leon Talley.

“Toby has been a mentor and trusted advisor to Halla since day one and is a veteran marketer, entrepreneur, and investor who has worked with the biggest brands in the world and the biggest names in Hollywood,” said Spencer Price, co-founder and CEO of Halla. “He has worked in every aspect of business and has repeatedly demonstrated an ability to accelerate product and market momentum. We couldn’t be more excited to have him officially join our team, helping grocery retailers enhance customer loyalty, profitability, and shopper experiences.”

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