Chef Robotics Raises $14.75M To Automate Food Assembly in Commercial Kitchens

We’ve been tracking Chef Robotics before it was even called that when the company’s CEO and founder, Rajat Bhageria, spoke at The Spoon’s food robotics conference ArticulATE in 2019.

At the time, Bhageria was still in stealth on what would become his restaurant robot company, but he had hinted that he was up to something when we talked to him and convinced him to come and speak at the conference as an investor for his investment shingle, Prototype Capital. Since that time, Chef Robotics has exited stealth and the company is actually selling its robot (Bhageria says that company revenue has doubled between 2022 and 2023) and, as first reported by Techcrunch, the company has raised a new $14.75 million combo debt/equity round of funding.

From Techcrunch: Rajat Bhageria tells TechCrunch that Chef distinguishes itself from the likes of Miso by focusing on food assembly, rather than cooking specifically. The company is also touting ChefOS, the underlying software driving its robot arm’s decisions. “[F]ood is very highly dimensional: depending on how you prep the ingredients (e.g., julienned onions vs chopped), cook the ingredients (e.g., sauteed, baked, broiled), store the ingredients (e.g., cooked, room temp, frozen), the material properties radically differ,” the company notes. “And these properties change daily based on who is prepping and cooking. To deal with this, Chef uses various sensors – like cameras – to collect training data and then trains models that help Chef learn how to manipulate a large corpus of ingredients.”

When he spoke at ArticulATE in 2019, Bhageria discussed the importance of better and cheaper computer vision and the growing power of AI to help power useful robots in food service and beyond.

“In my head, computer vision is absurdly important here,” said Bhageria. Now you have better sensors with cameras, better computation with GPUs, cloud computing, and deep neural networks, and better actuation.”

You can watch the food robotics panel with Bhageria and other food tech investors below.

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