Cala, a French pasta restaurant using advanced robotics to make “high-quality” meals accessible to everybody, raised Euro 5.5 million in a Seed funding round led by BACKED VC on 6 October 2021.
Investors: BACKED VC led the latest round of funding with participation from Possible Ventures, Kima Ventures, Quiet Ventures, and Acequia Capital.
The Objectives behind the funding: The company plans to deploy current proceeds to expand in France and new locations in Europe. In addition, the company plans to invest in increasing the company’s workforce across its engineering, product, and operations teams.
Founded in 2017 by Ylan Richard, Cala has built the world’s first fully robotic pasta restaurant. The company aims to create a world where freshly-made is as convenient as fast food with more individually customised cooked-to-order meals. The startup’s robot chefs cook ‘affordable, nutritious, sustainable, and delicious meals’ and transform the cost and experience of fast-casual dining. Cala is also available on UberEats, Deliveroo, and other delivery apps that make up 95 per cent of its business.
What the Founder has to say:
Ylan Richard, the co-founder of Cala, said, “As students, we were frustrated by the cost and lack of healthy meals available to us. Through our research and driven by our own stomachs, we could see that the foodservice industry is broken. In fast food, the low-profit margin means that it’s impossible to use higher quality ingredients.” He added, “We realised that if you could automate the meal preparation, you could rapidly increase the number of meals being produced and improve the economics. We decided to focus on pasta as it can be customised, and we could also reduce the number of meals that include meat, offering customers delicious food that is more sustainable, healthy, and affordable. We’ve been building and iterating on our robot, and our autonomous kitchen can now make 400 pasta dishes in one hour.”
What the Investor has to say:
Andre de Haes, Founding Partner at BACKED VC, mentioned, “It’s remarkable seeing a team of 23-year-olds execute at this pace. Not only has Cala built extremely advanced pasta-making robots, but they also have the branding talent which should make Cala a household name. Cala is riding major macro trends: growing demand for healthy, affordable food, the changing economics of high street retail, and the increasing acceptance of advanced robotics in daily lives. The proof is in the pasta.”
Robots and automation in the restaurant industry are trending and contribute to maintaining social distancing due to Covid-19 and resolving the problems that arise because of the increasing population. It helps to reduce cost and enables humans to focus on recipe development or other creative pursuits.
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