StageUnattributed VC | Alive
Last Raised$13.79M | 4 mos ago
Picnic develops the Picnic Pizza Station to automate pizza prep. The Picnic Pizza Station requires one employee and can deliver precise applications of sauce, cheese, pepperoni, and three additional granular toppings. The company was founded in 2016 and is based in Seattle, Washington.
Missing: Picnic's Product Demo & Case Studies
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ESPs containing Picnic
The ESP matrix leverages data and analyst insight to identify and rank leading companies in a given technology landscape.
Companies in this market offer robots that automate food preparation. While some fit into existing kitchens, others are self-contained food-making machines, such as vending machines for pizza or salad. These tools could be useful to retailers as they attempt to add more distinctive services to draw foot traffic amid labor shortages.
Picnic named as Outperformer among 7 other companies, including Miso Robotics, Hyphen, and Piestro.
Missing: Picnic's Product & Differentiators
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Research containing Picnic
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CB Insights Intelligence Analysts have mentioned Picnic in 1 CB Insights research brief, most recently on Jun 7, 2021.
Expert Collections containing Picnic
Expert Collections are analyst-curated lists that highlight the companies you need to know in the most important technology spaces.
Picnic is included in 5 Expert Collections, including Restaurant Tech.
Hardware and software for restaurant management, bookings, staffing, mobile restaurant payments, inventory management, cloud kitchens, and more. On-demand food delivery services are excluded from this collection.
This collection includes startups developing autonomous ground robots, unmanned aerial vehicles, robotic arms, and underwater drones, among other robotic systems. This collection also includes companies developing operating systems and vision modules for robots.
Smart building tech covers energy management/HVAC tech, occupancy/security tech, connectivity/IoT tech, construction materials, robotics use in buildings, and the metaverse/virtual buildings.
Store management tech (In-store retail tech)
Food & Beverage
Picnic has filed 5 patents.
The 3 most popular patent topics include:
- Pizza styles
- Street food
Crossover animation, Animated films about animals, NBC network shows, YTV shows, Disney animated short films, 1940s
Crossover animation, Animated films about animals, NBC network shows, YTV shows, Disney animated short films, 1940s
Latest Picnic News
Dec 14, 2022
by Renata Geraldo Credit: Artly Jarvis moves slowly, yet meticulously, from one station to another to make a cup of cappuccino. Jarvis makes the espresso, pours the milk, steams the foam and puts it all together, topping it off with a carefully drawn foam leaf. The result is a cup of cappuccino, ready to go. What stands out about this cappuccino? Its maker. Jarvis is a robotic arm , not a human barista, at Artly in Pike Place Market. While Jarvis is busy, a human staff focuses on interacting with customers, explaining the concept to newcomers and placing orders using a tablet. Seattle-based robotic startup Artly, founded in 2020, has seven locations in Washington, Oregon and California. The highlight at each location is a unique barista bot that has its own name, gender, voice, accent and personality. The robot's techniques differ at each location as they learn from a different human barista. It is intriguing to see the robot's coffee-making techniques, but pressing market needs were behind the innovation. Cost concerns and high employee turnover in food services have led Artly and others to provide automated solutions to restaurants and businesses, even before the pandemic hit and brought additional challenges. Just a couple of years into operation, Artly CEO Meng Wang said the company has maintained healthy operating margins—the profit a company makes after paying for costs of production—by eliminating the biggest expense in food business: labor. For a coffee shop that would need two or three baristas, Artly needs one staffer, in addition to a barista bot like Jarvis. Artly reinvests the money it saves from labor into sourcing more quality coffee, Wang said. Artly isn't alone in introducing robot help in food preparation . Another Seattle-based startup, Picnic, offers automation solutions for a staple of the American diet: pizza. Its food prep station can produce up to 100 pizzas in one hour using metered toppings. Since Picnic was founded in 2016, its robots have assembled pizzas in many places, including Seattle's T-Mobile Park and the Las Vegas Convention Center. The company has seen a growing interest in its robots. This summer, Picnic announced partnerships with pizzeria Moto's West Seattle location and a Domino's store in Berlin. The startups behind these robots tout their automated solutions for bringing higher productivity and reducing costs. Automating pizza assembly can help restaurants reduce food waste and potentially save money, said Picnic CEO Clayton Wood. For example, it helps keep the amount of toppings even. By automating the process with preset topping amounts, pizza-making can be more cost-effective, Wood said. Automated solutions also fill a gap in finding and retaining workers. Food service jobs can be "tedious and can be dangerous, and there's very high turnover," Wood said. "There's no advancement and the working conditions are not great." Issues in productivity and turnover in the food industry predate COVID-19, said Geoff Harris, a Picnic investor and co-founder and managing partner of venture capital firm Flying Fish Partners. But the need grew with the pandemic as restaurants closed. Many employees were laid off or furloughed and did not go back to the food industry. Staffing levels at eating and drinking establishments remain below their pre-pandemic levels as demand for labor nationally remains high, according to a National Restaurant Association analysis of U.S. Labor of Bureau Statistics data in November. Human touch Robots can't fill in for humans in every setting, however. Joe Yang, owner of several coffee stores in Portland, who is also Artly's co-founder and chief coffee officer, experienced that firsthand at his coffee shops . Yang tested Jarvis' beta version at his own stores. His customers were initially intrigued and excited about the robot barista, but the service was slower than with a human barista. He said customers craved the connection with the person making their coffee. "When [customers] go to the coffee shop, their expectation is to be served by a human," Yang said. With that, Artly has focused on opening locations in shopping malls and business office buildings rather than standard coffee shops. Artly also has seen an opportunity to expand in areas lacking coffee shops because of the pandemic or where Starbucks stores closed. "During COVID-19 there were a lot of 'coffee deserts,' and the competition is clearly much less than before," Wang said. For example, its first location opened at Japanese retailer MUJI in Portland in May 2021, after a previous coffee operator left due to labor shortages. Similarly, Jarvis made a home at Stoneridge Shopping Center in Pleasanton, California, in December 2021 because there was no coffee operator there. Because Starbucks had exclusivity as the only coffee provider in some areas, consumers had no other coffee options when it left, CEO Wang said. This was the case in the Stonestown Galleria Shopping Center in San Francisco where Artly opened its location in August. Investment and future growth While the need and opportunities exist, some startups are beginning to feel the squeeze. Inflation and recession fears this year have led to a stock market downturn, dampened investor appetite for risk and led to a decrease in venture capital activity. Hardware, Picnic's area, can be considered a risky investment, Wood said. "The current investment market is a challenge," Wood said. "We could go much faster in our product development and our market expansion if we were operating in a different market condition." Wood declined to comment on the company's fundraising, but GeekWire reported last year that Picnic raised $20.5 million in early-stage funding, led by California-based venture capital firm Thursday Ventures. Flying Fish, Vulcan Capital Management and Creative Ventures also participated in the round. By the end of 2021, investment activity slowed, with fewer initial public offerings and stock market losses. Those factors have "made the VC market significantly more conservative than in the prior several years," Wood said. Still, with a modular hardware system, Picnic's robots are easy and cheap to build, Flying Fish's Harris said. With a robotics-as-a-service business model, the standard full offering for operators is $4,500 a month on a 36-month contract. Artly's CEO Wang said the company hasn't struggled with funding. It closed a funding round of $8.5 million this year and a $1.5 million round last year. Both rounds were early-stage investments. Both Picnic and Artly are still young startups. And despite possible economic challenges, both have plans to scale the business. Picnic has partnered again with Moto to install a food prep station at the pizzeria's downtown location, though the unveiling date is still unclear. More partnerships are on the horizon, according to Wood and Harris. At Artly, when the barista bots becomes more stable and reliable in making coffee , Wang said the next step will be franchising, though that goal is still some years ahead. In 2023, the company plans to scale by adding between 15 and 20 locations. 2022 The Seattle Times. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Citation: Seattle startups bring robots to coffee, pizza prep (2022, December 14) retrieved 14 December 2022 from https://techxplore.com/news/2022-12-seattle-startups-robots-coffee-pizza.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further
Picnic Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
When was Picnic founded?
Picnic was founded in 2016.
Where is Picnic's headquarters?
Picnic's headquarters is located at 3455 Thorndyke Ave W, Seattle.
What is Picnic's latest funding round?
Picnic's latest funding round is Unattributed VC.
How much did Picnic raise?
Picnic raised a total of $51.32M.
Who are the investors of Picnic?
Investors of Picnic include Creative Ventures, Thursday Ventures, Cercano Management, Flying Fish Venture Partners, Fortson VC and 5 more.
Who are Picnic's competitors?
Competitors of Picnic include Hyper Robotics and 5 more.
Compare Picnic to Competitors
Miso Robotics develops technology that assists and empowers chefs to make food consistently and perfectly at prices everyone can afford. Its flagship product Flippy 2 provides robotics and intelligent automation to the restaurant industry. The company was founded in 2016 and is based in Pasadena, California.
Zume aids in the switch from plastic to compostable molded fiber packaging through its patent-pending manufacturing technology and its network of global suppliers.
Beyond Honeycomb is a food tech company developing an AI robot kitchen that can recreate gourmet dishes using AI technology and molecular sensors. The company's AI sensing and robotics solution acquires food data on a molecular level, spends 48 hours to learn skills for the dish, and then reproduces it with an automated device. Beyond Honeycomb was founded in 2020 and is based in Seoul, South Korea.
YPC Technologies enables restaurants, hotels, and other foodservice businesses to integrate highly individualized, miniature-scale robotic automation into their processes, allowing them to prepare better food at lower cost.
Piestro is the operator of a robotic pizza system and dispenser intended to deliver high-quality artisanal pizzas efficiently.
Kitchen Robotics specializes in the development of robotic dark kitchen solutions. It helps to reshape the restaurants' designs and prepare, manage, and deliver dishes in multiple cuisines. It primarily serves clients in the culinary sector. It was founded in 2019 and is based in Modiin, Israel.
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