Ocado takes minority stake in food robotics firm Karakuri
Online grocer Ocado has acquired a minority stake in robotics start-up company Karakuri.
The company has produced a new machine which automates the assembly of food-to-go and enables retailers and restaurants to personalise meals.
Featuring a configurable and modular design that can be installed in-store or in “dark kitchens”, the machines can be used in the assembly of all boxed meals and can aggregate up to 48 food items to create a wide range of food-to-go options.
Ocado Group’s ventures arm led the £7 million seed round with an equity investment of £4.75 million for 18% of the company and a seat on the board. If Ocado meets certain pre-agreed targets in the take-up of the technology, it will then have the right to purchase additional shares in the company.
Ocado expects to take delivery of the first machines in the second half of 2019.
Tim Steiner, chief executive of Ocado, said: “Ocado is constantly striving to identify the best and most innovative solutions to provide consumers with the greatest possible value, choice and convenience. Our investment in Karakuri, potentially a game-changer in the preparation of food-to-go, gives us the opportunity to bring the best of innovation to the benefit of our own customers as well as those of our partners.”
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