Redwood City, California-based Chowbotics, a provider of robots for the food service sector, has secured $11 million in funding. Foundry Group and Techstars led the round.
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (June 13, 2018) – Chowbotics received $11 million of Series A-1 funding led by Foundry Group and Techstars. Foundry Group is considered one of the leading hardware investors in the United States, with past investments in Fitbit, Makerbot, FormLabs, Sphero, and Occipital. Techstars, the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, has invested in more than 1,400 companies including Twilio, Uber, SendGrid, Digital Ocean, ClassPass, and Sphero.
“Chowbotics has released the first commercially available robotic food equipment in the industry. We consider them the top company in the emerging space of robotic food equipment. I’ve personally enjoyed working with them up close as a member of their board of directors. It was a no-brainer to continue investing in them,” says Jason Mendelson, Partner and Managing Director of the Foundry Group.
Founded by Dr. Deepak Sekar, an inventor with more than 125 patents, Chowbotics has been recognized by The New York Times, CNN, CNBC, Fast Company (2018 World Changing Ideas finalist), and many more influential national publications for its creation of Sally the Salad Robot and the robot’s impact on the foodservice industry. Via a touchscreen user interface, Sally makes salads in approximately one minute with any combination of up to 22 ingredients. The robot offers more than 10,000 custom salad options. Users can fine tune the calorie total by adding or subtracting ingredients.
“Techstars has been working with Chowbotics since their early days in the Techstars Austin mentorship-driven accelerator. We found them impressive, and therefore funded their Seed and Series A rounds. Having seen their progress up close as a member of their board of directors the past year and a half, we are delighted to co-lead this round with Foundry Group,” says David Cohen, Founder and co-CEO at Techstars.
Chowbotics hopes to use the additional funding to extend the Sally platform beyond salads. Grain bowls, breakfast bowls, poke bowls, acai bowls, and yogurt bowls are in development and will be added to the Sally platform soon. Chowbotics is also ramping up its sales and operations teams with the additional funding. Warren Manzer, who was President of Foodservice at Clipper and Senior Vice President at Crown Brands, joined Chowbotics as Vice President of Foodservice Sales. Rory Bevins, who was Senior Vice President at La Bottega Americas and Global Vice President at Molton Brown, joined Chowbotics as Vice President of Hospitality. Lee Greer, who was Chief Marketing Officer at Jason’s Deli, joined Chowbotics as Vice President of its Off-Premise Kitchen Business Unit. Shelley Janes, who was Head of Partnerships at CarDash and CEO of SideDoor, joined Chowbotics as Director of Sales, responsible for the western region of the United States. Nolan Schachter, who was Director of Sales and Marketing at TeaBot, joined Chowbotics as Director of Sales, responsible for Canada.
Chowbotics raised its seed funding round of $1.3 million from the Central Texas Angel Network, Techstars, Galvanize Ventures, Geekdom Fund, v1, and an owner of 15 McDonald’s restaurants. It raised its Series A funding round of $5 million from Techstars Foundry Group, Galvanize Ventures, and the Geekdom Fund. This Series A-1 funding round of $11 million has Foundry Group, Techstars, Geekdom Fund, v1, and the Central Texas Angel Network participating.