Softbank is investing $375 million into food delivery and logistics company, Zume, according to a new report in The Wall Street Journal. Softbank is also expected to invest another round of $375 million into Zume at a later date.
We had heard rumblings about this deal earlier this year, and The Journal got the news through an SEC filing. Zume provided the following statement to The Journal: “We’ve recently closed a round of funding to support our growth and hiring.”
Based in the Bay Area, Zume uses mountains of data to predict how many and what types of pizzas will sell in different neighborhoods. The startup also uses robots to help make the pizza, and a special van outfitted with ovens to finish cooking pizzas on their way to people’s houses. Earlier this year, the company announced that it would license its predictive technology out to help other types of restaurants to improve delivery of different types of cuisines.
As we’ve noted before, this investment makes a lot of sense for both companies. For Zume, it brings the necessary capital to expand both geographically outside of the Bay Area, and helps it broaden into other food categories.
For Softbank, putting money into Zume aligns nicely with some of its other investments. Softbank has invested in food delivery services DoorDash and Uber Eats. And last month, Softbank joined forces with Toyota to form a joint venture called MONET, which will use the car company’s e-Palette technology to create customizable self-driving vehicles that could be anything from a dentist office to a mobile pizza oven.
The result of all those pieces is a full stack solution for restaurant delivery, with Zume’s analytics predicting demand, Uber Eats or DoorDash providing delivery, and MONET vehicles providing the transportation. That type of vision is a ways off, but you can smell the piping hot corporate synergies.
The first $375M investment from Softbank brings the total amount raised by Zume to $423 million. TechCrunch reports that this will give Zume a pre-money valuation of $1.5 billion.