It looks like British coffee chain and Coca-Cola subsidiary Costa Coffee has acquired Austin, TX-based coffee automation company, Briggo.
We are still hunting down an official announcement, but the Briggo website is now re-branded as Costa Coffee (hat tip to the Food By Robots Twitter account). Briggo’s CoffeeHaus automated kiosk has been replaced with the Costa Coffee BaristaBot. Briggo also made an announcement on Twitter.
We have reached out to Briggo to find out more.
To date, Briggo had raised $19 million in funding. Its coffee robot was among a new wave of standalone automated kiosks that were looking to re-invent the vending machine by combining robotics with higher-end food. Part of Briggo’s pitch, when it first started out, was that in addition to building its coffee robot, it was also a coffee company that selected and roasted its own beans.
Briggo had Coffee Hauses up and running in a number of locations around Austin, including two at the Austin-Bergstrom Airport and one at the San Francisco International Airport. Briggo had formed a partnership with SSP America last year to open up new kiosks in 25 airports over the course of this year and next. In January of this year, Briggo’s CEO told me that his company was going to open up five new loations in Q1 of this year.
That, of course, was before the COVID-19 pandemic hit and airline travel was decimated. So how many of those locations went up or are still live is unknown. Rival robot coffee kiosk company, Cafe X, shuttered its remaining airport locations and laid off staff. That said, Cafe X has re-focused and has plans to deploy 150 robots across Asia over the next two years.
With its deep pockets, Costa Coffee has the resources to expand and operate more kiosks than Briggo could have on its own. This story is developing and we will update as we learn more.