South Korean company Woowa Bros., which runs the Baedal Minjok food delivery app, announced yesterday that it has received a $320 million from Hillhouse Capital, Sequoia Capital and GIC. This brings the total amount raised by Woowa to $482.8 million.
According to Reuters, Woowa says it will use the new funding to expand internationally and, (more excitingly, from my perspective) develop more autonomous delivery robots like its Dilly (pictured above).
Robots are so hot right now, and there’s a wave of li’l rover bots that will be hitting the streets next year. In addition to players like Kiwi, Starship and Marble, Postmates recently introduced its own delivery robot. Postmates is actually the most apt comparison as both Woowa and Postmates offer delivery businesses. Adding robot transport to their existing businesses gives them more control of deliveries further up the stack.
As I wrote back in July, Kim Bong-jin, CEO and Founder of Korean company Woowa Brothers is actually quite thoughtful and forward thinking when it comes to delivery ‘bots. In addition to making delivery cheaper and more secure, Bong-jin wants Woowa robots to double up their work. In addition to dropping off food, the robots would then take back your recycling. Taking that one step further, it’s not too hard to imagine restaurants employing re-usable food containers that could be retrieved, cleaned and loaded up with another delivery meal to cut down on waste.
Woowa isn’t just interested in delivery robots. Earlier this year, the company invested $2 million in Bear Robotics, which makes Penny the front of house restaurant robot. Penny got a job shuttling food and empty dishes at Seoul Pizza Hut location, and was a big hit on-stage at our recent Smart Kitchen Summit in Seattle.