Food robotics company YPC Technologies has raised US$1.8 million in funding in a seed round co-led by Hike Ventures and returning investor Real Ventures, with participation from Toyota AI Ventures, Uphill Capital, and multiple angel investors. YPC will use the financing to expand its engineering team and launch a beta version of its kitchen robot with an industry-leading multinational.
Co-founded by Gunnar Grass and Camilo Perez, Montreal-based YPC Technologies is pioneering a new era of kitchen automation by building a robot that can prepare thousands of recipes, at restaurant quality, using fresh ingredients. Rather than replacing staff, the system collaborates with humans to increase their output efficiency by taking care of highly repetitive cooking tasks. YPC says its technology is compact and does not require a vented range hood, making it suitable for locations not suited for a standard commercial kitchen. The company sells the system on a subscription basis to enterprise clients in various industries, including restaurants, cafeteria operators, hotels, and cloud kitchens.
Meanwhile, in separate news, the company also announced that Kaunteya Nundy, an investment banker who previously helped establish two of Canada’s best restaurants, has joined as COO.
“YPC Technologies’ versatile approach to robotic cooking has the potential to alter the way we prepare food in a variety of settings, democratizing the access to high-quality meals,” said Mikihiro Yasuda, managing partner at Hike Ventures. “We are excited to co-lead this round with Real Ventures and help YPC to start commercializing their technology.”
“We leverage modern kitchen appliances with robotics and machine learning to cook fresh, customized meals with great consistency and hygiene,” added CEO and co-founder Gunnar Grass. “Our system allows our B2B customers to decrease the cost of labor, rent, and food waste and enables consumers to access healthier food at lower cost.”
“Robotic kitchen automation is a nascent space with great market potential. The solution from YPC Technologies is smart, efficient, and scalable. YPC’s robotic kitchen enables safe collaboration with humans and simultaneously solves multiple cooking challenges: quantity, quality, and variety,” concluded Jim Adler, founding managing director at Toyota AI Ventures. “We look forward to working with the YPC Technologies team as they bring their technology to market.”