We are pleased to announce that Foundry Venture Capital 2016, L.P. has completed its initial investment in Chowbotics. Based in Silicon Valley, Chowbotics has developed robots that make food in restaurants and cafeterias.
At Foundry, we are always on the look-out for interesting Human Computer Interaction (HCI) companies. This investment theme has led to our investments in companies such as Glowforge, Formlabs, Makerbot, Fitbit, Occipital and Sphero. These companies have each grown quickly and defined their markets. We believe that Chowbotics will do the same in the emerging robotic food preparation category.
Restaurant owners throughout the United States are struggling to find labor. In a big city like San Francisco, for example, the median rent for a 1 bedroom apartment is $3500 – out of reach for most restaurant workers. Additionally, robots also provide enhanced food safety, consistency in food quality and 24/7 availability.
Furthermore, office cafeterias and event spaces lack the ability to provide labor intensive food items in many cases. Chowbotics first product, Sally, is a robotic salad maker that can be a part of any restaurant, cafeteria, event space, stadium, etc. where a freshly-made salad would normally be hard or impossible to provide.
We met Chowbotics as a part of the Austin, Texas Techstars program and have followed their success for the last year. Their robots are low in complexity and take up minimal space as well. The amount of progress they’ve made with a small team and budget has been impressive. The company was founded by Deepak Sekar and we are stoked to work with him and his team.