Delivery

Robot-Powered Pizza Maker Zume Raises ~$50M

Zume Pizza, a robotics startup that designed a robot to make pizza, has raised close to $50 million in venture funding.

Citing Pitchbook, CNBC reported that the company disclosed in a Securities and Exchange (SEC) Commission filing that the round of venture funding, which came in at $48 million, was $2 million short of its goal. According to the report, in December of 2016 it raised $23 million in venture funding, giving it a valuation of $50 million.

The pizza delivery company is using robots and humans to make and deliver pizza in the U.S. The robots are used for the tasks that need to be repeated, like spreading tomato sauce on the pizza and placing them in the ovens. Recipe development, food prep and pizza tasting are left to humans.

Zume isn’t the only company that is embracing technology when it comes to making and delivering pizza to the nation’s hungry consumers. Another example is the restaurant Domino’s, which launched Easy Orders in 2013 and introduced the voice-activated feature on Alexa at the end of July. Customers simply need to create an Easy Order account, which allows them to save their favorite order and submit it through Domino’s website and app, Facebook Messenger or Google Home.

Meanwhile, in April TechCrunch reported that Yelp Eat24 was partnering with Marble to test delivery via robot in select San Francisco neighborhoods. Marble’s delivery robots had been spotted with Yelp Eat24 logos earlier in April, although the companies officially announced the robot delivery service later that month.

The report noted that Marble is one of a handful of startups that are creating ground-based robots that can navigate to consumers’ addresses on their own. With the robot service, users can order through the Yelp Eat24 website or app and are then asked if they want delivery by robot. If the customer opts in, they receive a pin code via text to their smartphone, which they use to unlock the robot’s cargo and pay to get their food. The robot returns to Marble headquarters once the order is complete.

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