SoftBank may invest $500 to $700 million in Zume, the startup that uses robots and software to make and deliver fresh pizza.
This Softbank investment in Zume, when finalized, will be another instance where SoftBank’s Vision Fund expands its reaches in the industry of food delivery. Previously in this year, the Japanese firm provided a $535 million investment into DoorDash, the meal delivery app.
It as well owns a 15% stake in Uber, whose Uber Eats is on a spree of quick growth, representing 10% of the ride-hailing company’s business as of last February. That’s not all, SoftBank has stakes in the Asian ride-hailing companies Ola, Didi Chuxing and Grab, who have all gone on to the food delivery space.
As for Zume, its technology has a patent for delivery trucks that are equipped with robots and ovens, and can cook food while on the way to delivery. The ovens are fired up by a remote cloud signal. Now, there are laws that prevent food companies to cook in trucks while they are in motion for delivery, but Zume’s tech surpasses the same with legislation.
Furthermore, the startup creates and maintains technology for managing its supply chain logistics. It also looks for partnerships with companies who are relevant to the field of food delivery.
At present, Zume has only three trucks operating from its headquarters in Mountain View, California. It envisions to partner DoorDash and Uber Eats in the coming future. In a 2016 interview, co-founder Alex Garden said that he designed the robots to create an experience of eating a handmade pizza, to “spread your sauce perfectly, but not too perfectly.”
Zume’s ambitions to reach greater heights can be well supported by the reported possible investment of Vision Fund, taking the now-small startup into the global stage. Vision Fund has further plans to lead an investment of about $5 billion into Ele.me, the food delivery player owned by Alibaba.