Singapore-based investment fund Qualgro has entered Europe via a US$11,2 million Series A funding in Pazzi, a France-based robotic food tech startup. Joining the investment round are French fund Eutopia, Partech and daphni, as well as American and Swiss entrepreneurs from the retail and food sector.
The funding will be used to accelerate the development of Pazzi’s technology by strengthening its R&D teams and industrial partnerships for the manufacture of the next robots.
Pazzi will also use part of the new capital to open the first fully autonomous pilot restaurant with robots cooking in the Paris region in September at the Val d’Europe shopping centre (owned by the Klépierre group), one of the leading shopping centres in France.
Pazzi is a new player in the emerging robotic food tech sector, following the success of Zume or Spyce, the American companies in the sector which fundraised in 2018. Pazzi is said to be the pioneer in the sector in Europe.
According to a report by Meticulous Research, food robotics market is set to hit US$3.1 billion by 2025.
Pazzi was founded by two young French inventors, Sébastien Roverso and Cyrill Hamon, both engineers who are passionate about robotics and electronics. Together, they met with Philippe Goldman, a former director L’Oréal and now CEO of Pazzi. The company’s R&D efforts resulted in five patents obtained.
Pazzi now has a 15-person team. The company has been working with chef Thierry Graffagnino, a three-time world champion of pizza-making, since 2017. Graffagnino creates the dough and recipes for pizzas and helps the engineers teach robots to replicate how pizzaiolo (pizza makers) move. The end goal is to make the pizza-making process look more authentic and unique.
Pazzi founders’ mission is to fight junk food and to “use their skills to change the way fast food chains operate by increasing speed and freshness and operates with much more efficiency”.
Combining robots, vision, and data learning, Pazzi has been able to implement high-quality sourcing and recipes thanks to Graffagnino. The ingredients are based on organic vegetables from Italy, clean label hams, French PDO cheeses, sustainable fish, and flour from Ile-de-France mills, with a combination of over five million recipes.
The platform also opens the possibility for 24/7 open catering and is able to make 100 pizzas per hour; allowing Pazzi to be an optimal turnkey restaurant solution for operators of flow areas: stations, airports, main streets, shopping centres, department stores or campuses.
“Pazzi means ‘crazy’ in Italian. It is in the image of our team and the crazy bet invested in research for 6 years, concretised in particular by five patents. Pazzi’s mission is to put technology and robotics at the service of taste and healthier food,” said Philippe Goldman, CEO de PAZZI.
“The autonomous restaurant concept offered by Pazzi is meeting a growing demand from consumers across the world for fast, qualitative, and affordable food options. Its user-friendly digital tools and exciting robotics add to the overall great consumer experience,” said Heang Chhor, founder of Qualgro VC.