Given its rich culinary history, France might not be the first place to come to mind when thinking about autonomous restaurant chains, but French robot-pizza restaurant PAZZI (formerly known as EKIM) may change all that. Today PAZZI announced it has raised a €10 million (~$11.2M USD) Series A round of funding led Singaporean investment fund Qualgro. This brings the total amount raised by PAZZI €12.2M Euros (~$13.68M USD).
PAZZI creates small autonomous, robot-powered pizza restaurants. At roughly 45 square meters, the PAZZI concept is something between a large automated kiosk (like the Blendid robot) and full-on regular-sized restaurant. Shoppers order and customize their pizzas via touchscreen, which a three-armed robot makes, slides in and out of an oven, and slices — all without humans. According to this promotional video, PAZZI can make a pizza every 30 seconds.
PAZZI is opening up its first location to the public in Montevrain, France on June 24, and the company told us in an email that the new money will “accelerate the development of its technology.”
We aren’t aware of too many other robot restaurants in France, but PAZZI is certainly not alone in launching an autonomous restaurant experiences. As we learned at our Articulate conference earlier this year, robots are good for repetitive (applying sauce and cheese to dough) and dangerous (working a hot oven) restaurant tasks.
Here in the U.S., robo-restaurants are starting to sprout up. Boston-based Spyce raised $21 million to expand its presence, Caliburger and Creator both have robots making burgers, and Cafe X and Briggo are broadening their robo-barista footprint. Over in China, Alibaba has Robot.he and the Haidilao hotpot chain wants to launch thousands of robot restaurants. (For more, check out our food robot market map!)
PAZZI seems to have equally large ambitions, and with its small footprint, and 24 hour capabilities, its robot seems perfect for malls, offices, airports and other high-traffic areas where speed is as important as taste.
With its new funding, we’ll see if PAZZI can scale its operations, without sacrificing any flavor.