DoorDash has bought Chowbotics, which builds robots that can chop you a fresh salad in under 60 seconds
- The restaurant-delivery app
DoorDashhas bought the food-robotics company Chowbotics.
- Chowbotics makes Sally, a robot that prepares custom salads in under a minute.
- More than 350 of the
robotsare in use worldwide, a number that could grow following the deal.
DoorDash has bought Chowbotics, the developers of a robot that can make custom fresh salads in under a minute.
DoorDash merchants will now be able to expand their menus and reach new markets without investing in new stores, the food-delivery app said in a statement Monday, suggesting merchants could use the robots to fulfill orders delivered through DoorDash.
The release didn't say how much DoorDash, the top restaurant-delivery service in the US, paid for Chowbotics, but The Wall Street Journal said Chowbotics was valued at $46 million in 2018. The Journal first reported the deal.
Chowbotics' flagship product is Sally, a 3-foot-by-3-foot machine that dispenses fresh ingredients customers can use for salads, grain and poke bowls, parfaits, cereals, and snacks.
DoorDash said the simple-sounding task was actually complex because of the different weights and shapes of the ingredients.
"The level of autonomy, accessibility, and customization that Chowbotics provides to consumers is proven and unmatched," it added.
The robot stores its ingredients in 22 canisters, which have to be filled manually. Chowbotics says Sally can make 50 to 100 meals, taking less than a minute each, before a refill is required.
Chowbotics said Sally had become all the more useful during the coronavirus pandemic as people increasingly focused on hygiene. Humans don't handle the ingredients apart from stocking up the machine, and customers need only touch a tablet screen to get their
The robot also uses temperature controls to keep ingredients fresher for longer, which leads to less waste, Chowbotics said, and merchants get an automated dashboard with data on temperatures, sales, and ingredient use.
The inventor Deepak Sekar set Chowbotics up in 2014, first developing a machine that combined spices and vegetables to make curry before creating a salad-making version. The company has raised about $21 million, TechCrunch reported.
DoorDash went public in December and raised about $3.4 billion with its initial public offering, at a valuation of roughly $34.2 billion, amid surging demand during the pandemic.
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