When you’re trying to feed a large group on a short notice at a low price, the answer is pizza. When robotics-as-a-service company Picnic was trying to figure out the best food for its robots to automate, the answer was also pizza.
That’s because pizza is always the answer.
Picnic is a Seattle-based startup that builds robots and the software necessary to create and operate automated food production systems. In October, the company launched its automated pizza assembly system to the public. This robotic system was built to make pizzas at a fast pace, with consistent quality. One Picnic pizza robot can pump out 180 18-inch pizzas per hour, or 300 12-inch pizzas per hour. Meanwhile, the robots use computer vision and machine learning to make sure each pizza is up to standards.
However, Picnic has plans to expand beyond pizza. On the company’s website, Picnic says its machines will soon be able to make sandwiches, salads, bowls and more. And now, the company has the capital to make that possible.
On Tuesday, the company announced that it received a $5 million investment in a funding round led by VC firm Creative Ventures. Picnic says it’ll use the new funding to support product development, staffing and marketing efforts.
“Picnic has quickly established the differentiation and potential of our groundbreaking system and solutions that directly address the business challenges of a wide range of food service and hospitality customers,” Picnic CEO Clayton Wood said in a statement. “High-profile industry recognition in the form of new funding and leadership acquisition continues to underscore our value proposition in the marketplace, and allows us to successfully respond to and prepare for the growing interest in our offerings.”
Picnic also announced its new VP of Engineering, Kennard Nielsen, who helped develop hardware at Amazon and Microsoft.