Home / News / Artificial Intelligence / Chef Robotics has recently secured funding of $14.75 million, indicating its intention to expand into the realm of commercial kitchens

Chef Robotics has recently secured funding of $14.75 million, indicating its intention to expand into the realm of commercial kitchens

In recent years, the kitchen has become a central focus for automation. For example, Miso has gained recognition through Flippy, an automated arm designed for cooking hamburgers, which has been successfully implemented in various chain restaurants such as White Castle. Zume Robotics, on the other hand, faced challenges and ultimately closed down last year when it tried to shift its focus towards environmentally-friendly food packaging.

Chef Robotics was established in 2019. The establishment occurred at an opportune moment, right before the onset of COVID-related shutdowns and subsequent labor deficiencies that persist in sectors such as fast food. Earlier this week, the San Francisco-based company revealed the successful completion of a $14.75 million funding round, which included a combination of equity and debt.

Additional funding has been secured, with a recent investment of $7.7 million in 2021, resulting in a total funding amount of $22.5 million. The total amount consists of $18.2 million in equity and $4.25 million in debt. MaC Venture Capital, MFV Partners, Interwoven Ventures, and Alumni Ventures have joined the existing backers, including Construct Capital, Kleiner Perkins, Promus Ventures, and Red and Blue Ventures.

A significant portion of the funds will be allocated to implementing Chef’s go-to-market strategy, which revolves around a RaaS (robotics-as-a-service) model. The RaaS model is gaining significant popularity in the field of industrial automation due to the high upfront cost associated with purchasing large robots, which is often unaffordable for many companies. The company plans to expand its workforce by hiring engineers and technicians. Currently, the headcount is approximately 30.

Rajat Bhageria, the founder and CEO of Chef, explains to that Chef sets itself apart from competitors like Miso by prioritizing food assembly rather than cooking exclusively. The company is highlighting ChefOS, the software that powers its robot arm’s decision-making. “Food is a complex and multi-faceted subject. The way ingredients are prepared, cooked, and stored can greatly impact their properties,” the company explains. Furthermore, these properties undergo daily fluctuations depending on the individuals responsible for food preparation and cooking. Chef employs a range of sensors, including cameras, to gather training data. This data is then used to train models that enable the company to effectively handle a vast array of ingredients.

The company prioritizes the software/AI aspect due to the utilization of off-the-shelf hardware components in most of Chef’s products. Many roboticists believe that if current solutions are effective, there is no need to create redundant alternatives.

The Chef company has deployed robots at food companies in five cities across the U.S. and Canada, including Fortune 500 food companies. However, specific sales figures have not been disclosed. Bhageria has reported a significant increase in recurring revenue from 2022 to 2023, according to. However, no further details were provided.

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