- RoboBurger Inc, the creator of an autonomous “robotic burger chef in a box,” has secured $10 million in Seed 2 funding via a partnership with private equity firm Promethean Investments, according to a press release.
- The new funding will allow RoboBurger, which grills, toasts, adds condiments and assembles a burger in four minutes, to grow and scale production of RoboBurger Mark 2 units.
- RoboBurger launched its first pop-up location in March at Newport Mall in New Jersey, and will launch its second-generation units in Pilot Flying J - Newark, a university in Queens, New York, and at The Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan.
The capital infusion will give RoboBurger the ability to better meet consumer demand. This vending machine-type offering can work in multiple settings, such as offices, universities, hospitals or transportation hubs, the company said in a press release.
“Promethean believes that Roboburger and their focus on automation and robotics are the solution to deal with the labor availability and cost as well as inflation challenges we see in hospitality [and] food production today,” Michael Burt, founding partner at Promethean, said in the press release. Promethean Investments has been an active investor in the restaurant space of late, and re-upped its investment in emerging eatertainment chain Puttshack earlier this month.
Restaurants are increasingly turning toward robotics to reach more customers. Wow Bao is opening 50 automated vending machines across 24 cities to offer customers with various hot food items. Jamba by Blendid continues to expand its robotic smoothie maker across college campuses, travel centers and grocery stores. Subway is also testing vending machines.
While private equity interest in restaurant tech startups has been waning this year due to inflationary pressures, some firms, especially those focused on automation, still draw funding. Jay-Z’s Marcy Venture Partners backed Stellar Pizza, which makes trucks equipped with robotic pizza makers, with $16.5 million in capital in October. Danny Meyer’s Enlightened Hospitality Investments invested $10 million in voice-based artificial intelligence company ConverseNow in August. Chipotle also invested in Hyphen, a foodservice platform focused on automating kitchen operations, as part of its $50 million Cultivate Next venture fund.