Financing

Robotic pizza-maker Zume raises $375M

The fundraising round would reportedly give the company a $2.25 billion valuation.
Photograph courtesy of Zume Pizza

Zume, the startup making waves in California with its robotic pizzerias, is about to get a lot bigger.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company is completing a $375 million funding round from a single investor, according to an SEC filing.

According to the Wall Street Journal, that investor is SoftBank Vision Fund, which will invest another $375 million “in the future.” The report said that the investment will give Zume a valuation of $2.25 billion.

“We’ve recently closed a round of funding to support our growth and hiring,” Alex Garden, chairman and CEO of Zume, said in an emailed statement.

The investment is only the latest in what appears to be a growing arms race to increase the level of technology serving and supplementing the restaurant industry. Earlier this year, for instance, SoftBank led a $535 million investment in the delivery company DoorDash, now valued at about $4 billion.

The robotic restaurant concept Spyce, which has one unit in Boston and makes healthy bowls, closed on a $21 million funding round in September.

The growing investment in technology for companies serving the restaurant business could help make the industry more efficient as it deals with growing shortages of labor and increasing demands by customers for more sustainable food sources.

Zume, previously known as Zume Pizza, uses robots, employees and oven-fitted trucks to make and deliver pizzas. The company preps pizzas at the kitchen but cooks them in trucks that deliver the pies throughout a trade area. Pizzas are also delivered by a fleet of scooters and cars during peak times.

The company has been in expansion mode this year and is looking to expand its logistics services to other restaurants.

The company says that its platform “reduces the time and distance between clean food sources and dense population centers,” using automation and transportation logistics.

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