What do a group of former SpaceX employees, rapper and music producer Jay-Z, and pizza have in common? The answer is a brilliant foodtech startup called Stellar Pizza.
Set to launch this fall in the Los Angeles area, Stellar Pizza just raised $16.5 M. Jay-Z led this round through its VC Marcy Venture Partners. This is the second round completed by Stellar, as it raised $9 M last year.
Stellar Pizza aims to solve two problems in the food industry: the massive cost of renting commercial spaces and the high number of employees quitting the sector. It achieves both with its truck that looks – externally – just like a regular food truck but that inside hides a robot chef.
The robot chef can cook autonomously up to 420 pizzas in just five minutes each. The truck helps save on rent costs and needs just a driver to operate. The challenge for food trucks is normally to have well-trained cooks, that can deliver high-quality food at a very fast pace. Stellar solves all these with its robot. The driver of the truck doesn’t even need to know how to cook.
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So what does SpaceX has to do with Stellar Pizza? Actually, Co-founders Benson Tsai, Brian Langone, and James Wahawisan were all employed by Elon Musk’s SpaceX. And somehow they convinced other thirty SpaceX employees to quit and join Stellar. The TikTok video below tells a bit of the startup story.
Other companies in the food industry and startups have attempted similar ideas either by using robots for cooking or delivery. Compared to them, Stellar Pizza seems to be going in the right direction with this project because they installed the robot on a food truck.
Food trucks are very popular in the States. People are willing to go out of their way to eat at one. Combine that with Stellar technology and fast pizza preparation and you have a recipe for success.
We are looking forward to tasting Stellar Pizza and seeing if other startups will try to bring robotics to the food -trucks industry.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by Impakter.com columnists are their own, not those of Impakter.com. In the Featured Photo: A bike Lane over a bridge. Photo credit: Unsplash.