Basil Street announced today that it has raised a $10 million round of funding that will help the company begin a multi-city pilot of its pizza vending machines starting this April.
Basil Street’s machines are roughly 20 square feet in size and hold up to 150 10-inch, thin-crust pizzas. The machine serves cheese and pepperoni pies as well as a rotating “Pizza of the month,” each costing between $6.95 and $11.95. Pizzas are made fresh, flash frozen for storage in the machine, and reheated using a patent-pending, non-microwave speed oven that cooks the pies in about three minutes.
Like other vending machine companies, Basil Street is targeting high-volume, high-traffic areas such as airports, military bases, hospitals, college campuses or even inside existing locations like supermarkets.
And also like other vending machine companies, Basil Street is part of a wave of high-tech, haute cuisine automated food kiosks coming to market. Other players — Yo-Kai Express with its hot ramen, Chowbotics with its fresh salads, and Bake Xpress with its pastries (and pizza!) — are all vying to revolutionize what a vending machine is capable of.
But for Basil Street, selling pizza is just part of the equation and really just the start for the company. As we wrote last year, all the machines are IoT-enabled, so the company will have a ton of data to work with:
The company will know what people buy, when and where they buy it, and how often. Basil Street could use this data to target new cuisine offerings or new locations. The company started with pizza because it’s easier to ship and cook, but [Basil Street Cafe CEO, Deglin] Kenealy said the oven’s technology could be used to cook just about anything.
But first, Basil Street has to get its machines up and going, which it will do with this cash infusion (the company had previously raised $3.5 million in family and friends funding). Basil Street will be targeting Texas, Kansas, Missouri, North Carolina and Southern California for its first roll-outs.