The robotics industry is having a major moment amidst the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s true that category has actually been an exciting target for investments for a number of years now, however labor problems and concerns over transmission have actually led many sectors to take a good, long look at automation.
Meal preparation is a prime target. It’s an important service and one that finds human hands entering direct content with food. Leipzig, Germany-based DaVinci Kitchen is wanting to deal with problems around food preparation with the launch of a modular robotic kiosk that cooks Italian-themed pasta dishes.
In 2018, German incubator 2b AHEAD Ventures assembled the team that would become DaVinci to address concerns around labor shortages in the food preparation industry.
“The catering industry is massive,” CTO Ibrahim Elfaramawy told TechCrunch on a call ahead of the start-up’s participation in Disrupt Battlefield. “Everybody needs to eat. We see our clients struggling to find qualified workers. The jobs are getting tougher, the pay is not increasing. A lot of restaurant owners are trying to find solutions to increase their capabilities and quality. Robots can work 24/7. This is the opportunity that we see and many of our clients are excited about it.”
Image Credits: DaVinci Kitchen Area The first batch of robotics will focus on pasta– a reasonably easily prepared meal with universal appeal. The machine produces the pasta, cooks and serves all of it in around six minutes, according to Elfaramawy. It can prepare 2 dishes simultaneously and cleans the meals in around 20-30 seconds.
The system is modular, so the device can potentially be outfitted to prepare other foods, including salads or prepare different takes on the pasta style, swapping Italian design for an Asian dish, for instance.
So far, the little company has raised around $780,000 in a seed round, thanks to 2b AHEAD and Rheine-based frozen food company, Apetito, which is also among DaVinci’s very first clients. The startup is also in the procedure of raising a Series A with a target of $1.7 million. Its first kiosks are on track to be provided in late-2020 or early 2021, depending on COVID-19’s influence on the company’s supply chains. The first batch will include 10 machines.
The company is targeting restaurants and food courts, which can purchase or lease the robotics.
Article curated by RJ Shara from Source. RJ Shara is a Bay Area Radio Host (Radio Jockey) who talks about the startup ecosystem – entrepreneurs, investments, policies and more on her show The Silicon Dreams. The show streams on Radio Zindagi 1170AM on Mondays from 3.30 PM to 4 PM.