Picnic, the food robotics company best known for its automated pizza assembly line, announced today that it has raised $5 million. The funding is part of Picnic’s seed round and was led by Creative Ventures with participation from Flying Fish Partners and Vulcan Capital.
Picnic came out of stealth mode last month to reveal its assembly line style robot where a conveyor carries a crust under dispensers that apply sauce and other toppings. Picnic’s pizza ‘bot is already being used by Centerplate at Seattle’s T-Mobile arena. (Picnic also fed hungry attendees at our Smart Kitchen Summit in October, cranking out hundreds of (tasty) pizzas per hour.)
While its first use is putting together pizzas, Picnic is really creating more of a modular platform that could be used for a number of different types of food. Think assembling Subway style sandwiches, for example.
As I wrote of the time of its unveiling , Picnic sits squarely at the nexus of a number of different food tech trends. First, it’s part of a wave of food automation that is taking over some of the repetitive tasks of food creation and promising to help restaurants deal with high human turnover. Second, among its first venues is a stadium, since stadiums need to feed a lot of people quickly, they are becoming a hotbed when it comes to food innovation. Finally, Picnic says that its machine can help cut down on food waste by precisely applying the same amount of ingredients to each pizza, each time.
With its new funding, Picnic says it will continue product development, as well as ramp up marketing and staffing.