Blendid, a food automation and robotics company which has built a robotic kiosk (see video below), has closed its latest oversubscribed round of crowdfunding.
Hitting its $2 million target via 1,475 individual investors during a four-month campaign on StartEngine, Blendid has now raised a total of $20 million in investment through a combination of traditional venture capital, strategic investors and crowdfunding.
During its crowdfunding effort, Blendid signed a commercial agreement with a major commercial food service operator, which also made a strategic investment in the company, to help scale its manufacturing and operations so Blendid can achieve its mission of making healthy food more personalized and accessible nationwide.
Vipin Jain, CEO and co-founder of Blendid, says: “While robots are rapidly becoming part of the food service mix and countless vendors are vying for crowdfunding support, not all food robotic systems are created equal. It is critical to break through the buzz and marketing hype when evaluating options.
“AI-powered robots play a primary role in the future of food service, and Blendid is committed to not only optimizing the consumer experience, but also helping food operators overcome labor shortages and post-pandemic demand complexities while improving operator margins.
“We’ve proven the strength of our technology platform with our first kiosk solution, but the Blendid food operating system will support different types of fresh fare, from smoothies to soups, bowls, salads, sandwiches and more in the years ahead as we embark on a new era of healthy fast food.”
Advances in robotics and artificial intelligence, coupled with operational cost advantages and major consumer and retailer shifts, are driving the food industry to more rapidly embrace robotics that give consumers 24/7 access to fresh food.
In fact, the food robotics market, estimated at $1.9 billion in 2020, is expected to reach $4.0 billion by 2026.
Offering a compact, autonomous, contactless robotic food kiosk with unmatched in-market operating experience, Blendid solutions have served over 50,000 customer orders working with large US retail and food operator partners and can be installed in a wide range of locations to give consumers access to healthy, affordable, and delicious food anywhere.
With 10 patents, three trademarks, and a coveted NSF certification for its first product, Blendid’s proprietary, contactless food operating system (foodOS) processes orders, payment, and pickup safely, efficiently and autonomously.
Powered by breakthrough machine vision and artificial intelligence technology, its foodOS measures and dispenses precise amounts of a wide range of ingredients for customized drinks, and then blends, pours, and stores each smoothie until a guest is ready for pickup.
The company’s cutting-edge design is supported by a network operation center that remotely manages all systems, making sure all Blendid robots can serve a freshly made, micro-customized smoothie within minutes and can process nine drinks simultaneously in high foot traffic areas.
Building on the success of its initial Northern California locations in retail stores and universities and boasting a pre-money valuation of $50 million, Blendid is currently focused on growing its location footprint to increase its reach across the United States and perfect its food automation platform.
Recently announcing its expansion plans to two new geographic areas, Blendid will use the additional funds to accelerate its expansion into the Southern California and Georgia markets with openings in a variety of venues such as malls, airports, hospitals, universities and retail stores.