French food-tech company Cala has raised €5.5m (£4.6m) to further develop and commercialise its pasta-making robotic system.
The company, which has created a fully autonomous restaurant using advanced robotics to prepare meals for collection or delivery, will use this latest seed investment to expand across France, as well as target new locations in Europe.
Ylan Richard, co-founder and CEO 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 food service industry is broken. In fast food, the low-profit margin means that it’s impossible to use higher quality ingredients.
“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.”
This latest funding round, led by Backed VC, brings the company’s total raised to €6.5m (£5.6m), following a €1m (£852,405) pre-seed in 2019. Early supporters of Cala include Jerome Tafani, CEO of Burger King France.
He said: “I’m incredibly proud to be invested in the Cala team and to support them. They are breaking new ground in the fast-food industry. Technology is a huge component to making healthy, affordable, and sustainable meals, for a new customer journey designed for future ways of eating.”