Zume scores $48 million in funding to expand its robotic pizza empire



Zume has long had grand ambitions for its food automation service, and the Mountain View-based startup is now $48 million closer to that goal, courtesy of a new series B. The funding, first spotted by CNBC, was detailed in an SEC filing, alongside the company’s plans to raise a total of $50 million.

Cofounders/co-CEOs Julia Collins and Alex Garden confirmed the round this morning with a statement provided to TechCrunch. “We’ve recently closed a round from leading investors to support our hiring and market growth.” At present, the Mountain View-based company is best known for its robotic pizza service, which uses automation to perform dull tasks like spreading pizza sauce and potentially dangerous ones like moving pizzas into and out of the oven. 

The company is already serving parts of the Bay Area, and Collins made an appearance at Disrupt in SF last month, along with the Zume truck. This round should help the startup push closer to its goal of covering the entire Bay by the end of next year.

But Zume’s ambitions are broader than that. Collins joked at Disrupt about not expecting to be known as the “pizza robot company.” That kind of moniker will likely be tough to shake in these early stages, because, well, pizza robots are basically all the things the internet enjoys in one.

Pizza was a logical first step for a company looking to prove its automation delivery method, but Collins and Garden have often discussed plans to build an “Amazon of Food.” Of course, Amazon is also the Amazon of food (and the Amazon of everything else, really), but the broader point remains.

Zume is looking to be the fulcrum for a wider push toward automation for the food industry, one that frees up humans to work on the more creative tasks like creating recipes (and in the case of pizza, some truly goofy names), while robots do the boring and backbreaking stuff.



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