Softbank Group Corp., is looking to start rolling in the dough, literally.
The group is currently beginning talks with the startup Zume Inc., looking at investing a possible $500 million to $750 million in the business. Playing to the Japanese cultural fascination with robots, Zume Inc. makes fresh pizza and delivers it with the help of robots. The company’s main selling point is their proprietary technology that allows for their delivery trucks to cook the pizza pies en route to their destination after they are loaded in part by their robotic assistants. The truck’s ovens are turned on remotely via cloud signal and make it possible for Zume to bypass laws that restrict food truck companies from cooking food while their vehicles are in motion.
This business is not only limited to pizza pies.
Zume creates technologies and maintains patents concentrated in the food delivery business, targeting supply chain logistics and providing freshly cooked menu items to customers in Mountain View, California. Softbank is making strides to move into the food delivery industry with its $535 million investment into the meal delivery app DoorDash and now in their current negotiations with Zume. Having stakes in ride-hailing companies throughout Asia like Ola, Grab and Didi Chuxing which have all begun to branch out into the delivery business, this partnership with Softbank could massively expand Zume’s reach throughout the world.
“…Asia can expect to get a piping hot freshly baked robotic hand-crafted pizza delivered right to their door in the not so distant future.”
We all knew one day robots would be delivering our pizza.
Softbank is a company known for its interest in bringing robotics to the mainstream consumer. This could be seen as a logical extension of SoftBank Group leader Masayoshi Son’s push into the robotic world that began with his acquisition of the French startup which became Softbank Robotics.
Giants in the industry like Yum! Brands Inc.’s Pizza Hut and Domino Pizza Inc. have also been dabbling in robotic technologies. However, currently, Zume is ahead of the curve with their functioning patents. With a healthy injection of funds Zume will undoubtedly explode in size from its current 3 truck operation. If talks go well and Softbank forges this partnership, Japan and possibly a large portion of Asia can expect to get a piping hot freshly baked robotic hand-crafted pizza delivered right to their door in the not so distant future. I think that’s something we all can look forward to, especially this small yet ambitious startup based out of Mountain View, California.