from Pradodesign Chowbotics raises $11 million to move its robot beyond salads
Creating a salad-making robot is pretty good, as far as tech company hooks go, but Chowbotics is looking to expand. The Bay Area company just raised $11 million in a “Series A-1” led by the Foundry Group and Techstars.
The big plan for the money largely involves extending the company’s selection of foodstuffs beyond leafy greens, where Sally the Salad Robot has made its mint. At the top of the list are grain bowls, breakfast bowls, poke bowls, açai bowls and yogurt bowls. If it’s food served in a bowl, Chowbotics seems interested.
Seems pretty straightforward, really. After all, at its core, Sally is a kind of vending machine, dropping different ingredients into the same bowl. Apparently it’s a bit more complicated than that, especially when you start mixing in things like yogurts and berry purees. “The major challenges are finding special technical solutions for dispensing different shapes and sizes of ingredients,” founder/CEO Deepak Sekar told TechCrunch.
The company is also using the funding to add a whole bunch of senior roles. Per the press release:
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.
The funding follows a $5 million Series A in March of last year.