Robotic kitchen restaurant Spyce on Friday said it has closed a $21 million financing round from new and existing investors and some world-renowned chefs that will help the company add restaurants throughout the East Coast.
Founded by four MIT graduates in 2015, Spyce has a robotic kitchen at its location in Boston that prepares a menu of bowl meals to order.
Collaborative Fund, a New York-based fund that makes investments to “push the world forward,” along with consumer venture capital firm Maveron, led this financing round. Collaborative Fund has invested in companies such as Kickstarter, Lyft, Blue Bottle Coffee, Good Eggs and Sweetgreen. Maveron has invested in eBay, Zulily and many others.
Existing investor Khosla Ventures also contributed, along with some world-renowned chefs including Thomas Keller, Jerome Bocuse and Gavin Kaysen. Daniel Boulud is the concept’s culinary director.
“We’re excited to open more restaurants and further develop our concept and technology to continue establishing our brand within the food community,” CEO and co-founder Michael Farid said in a statement. The other co-founders are Brady Knight, Kale Rogers and Luke Schlueter.
The company said it plans to open “a number of restaurants on the East Coast” and develop its robotic culinary platform.
Spyce plans to hire additional employees and double in size over the next year.
The menu features items such as a Lebanese bowl, with roasted chicken, lentils, white mushrooms, cherry and sun-dried tomatoes, fresh dill, brown rice, Tahini, herbed yogurt, feta and cucumber salad.
Another bowl is the Moroccan bowl, with chickpeas, olives, tomatoes, currants, cinnamon, raisins, sauteed kale, freekeh, cilantro, tomato cucumber salad and yogurt. A Hearth bowl includes Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes with a balsamic glaze, kale, freekeh, apples, quinoa and yogurt.
“Spyce piqued my interest with their hospitality-first approach,” Kaysen, of Spoon and Stable and Bellecour in Minnesota, said in a statement. “Their use of innovative technology and engineering to deliver a consistent, reliable product is driven by the desire to best service their guests, which is what motivates me every day as a chef.”
Customers order on touchscreen tablets, and their bowls are prepared and ready in three minutes or less. Induction-heated woks, operated by robots, prepare the meals evenly and pour them into bowls when they are ready, and employees add additional ingredients to finish them off. The bowls cost $7.50 apiece.
“The technology they have built is impressive, and enables better efficiency, throughput, consistency, quality and at a much more affordable price,” Vinod Khosla, founder of Khosla Ventures, said in a statement. “With the technology married with a strong consumer experience and brand, they are reinventing the way restaurants are typically operated.”