DoorDash is increasing its robotic footprint into the kitchen. The supply service is ready to accumulate Chowbotics, a Bay Space-based robotics finest recognized for its salad-making robotic, Sally. TechCrunch has confirmed the acquisition, which was first famous by The Wall Street Journal.
“We’ve lengthy admired the work that Chowbotics has achieved to extend entry to recent meals, with its groundbreaking robotics product and imaginative and prescient,” DoorDash co-founder Stanley Tang stated in a remark supplied to TechCrunch. “At DoorDash, we’re at all times working to innovate and proceed bettering how we help our service provider companions and their success — and are excited to leverage this expertise to take action in new methods. With the Chowbotics group on board, we will discover new use instances and prospects, offering one other service to assist our retailers develop.”
Based in 2014, Chowbotics has raised round $21 million up to now, together with an $11 million spherical again in 2018. The corporate’s merchandising machine-style salad bar robotic was already well-positioned for the pandemic, eradicating a human component from the meals preparation course of — to not point out the truth that salad bars and buffets are typically open air affairs. In October, the startup added a contactless characteristic to the robotic, letting customers order forward of time, through app.
“Becoming a member of the DoorDash group unlocks new potentialities for Chowbotics and the expertise that this group has constructed over the previous seven years,” CEO Rick Wilmer stated in a press release. “Because the chief in meals supply and on-demand logistics, DoorDash has the unparalleled attain and experience to assist us develop and deploy our expertise extra broadly, so collectively, we will make recent, nutritious meals simple for extra folks.”
It’s not totally clear how the corporate’s expertise will match into the supply service’s present providing, although DoorDash notes it can “enhance client entry to recent and secure meals, and improve our sturdy service provider choices and logistics platform.” It additionally stays to be seen whether or not Chowbotics will proceed to function as its personal entity inside the broader DoorDash. We’ve reached out for extra perception.
“At DoorDash, we attempt to turn into a service provider’s first name after they need to develop their enterprise,” Tang stated. “What excites us most about Chowbotics is that the group has developed a outstanding software for serving to retailers develop. Bringing Chowbotics’ expertise into the DoorDash platform offers us a brand new alternative to assist retailers broaden their present menu choices and attain new prospects in new markets — which is a basic a part of our merchant-first method to empowering native economies.”
DoorDash has been working with robotics firms for various years now. Maybe probably the most outstanding instance is a partnership with Starship Technologies to discover meals supply robots. Although that expertise has seen a good variety of roadblocks amongst native officers not keen to show their sidewalks over to robots. The supply firm likens Chowbotics’ kiosk-style expertise to its work with ghost kitchens, successfully serving as a conduit to assist broaden meals choices at native retailers – be it in retailer or via supply. The previous will possible be of extra curiosity as soon as the present pandemic is within the rear view.
Particulars of the acquisition haven’t been disclosed.