SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Seattle-based Picnic™ (www.hellopicnic.com), an innovator in automated, robotic food assembly, announced today that, it has raised a $16.3 million Series A financing. The new round was led by the venture capital group Thursday Ventures (thursday.vc), who was joined by other investors including existing investors Creative Ventures (creativeventures.vc), Flying Fish Partners (flyingfish.vc), and Vulcan Capital (capital.vulcan.com). Picnic also announced new strategic partnerships with important companies in the food service industry; Orion Land Mark (OLM) (www.lmpinc.com; www.orionfoods.com), Ethan Stowell Restaurants (www.ethanstowellrestaurants.com), National Service Cooperative (www.nationalservicecoop.com), and Baseline Hardware Financing (www.hardwarefinancing.com).
Picnic plans to use the capital to further expand its team and commercial operations. Over the past year the team has been diligently working with its customers to better understand what is most important for restaurant owners and other kitchens in stadiums, hospitals, colleges, and more. The company plans to announce Picnic Pizza System deployments and ramp up production volume later in 2021.
“Picnic is developing technology to solve the challenges faced by every commercial kitchen – labor shortages, quality control, and consumer experience,” said Jared Furtado, Managing Partner of Thursday Ventures. “Picnic's dynamic automation platform will undoubtedly define the future of the food industry. We are thrilled to work alongside Clayton and his world-class team as they continue to revolutionize the way kitchens will be managed."
“The new financing and strategic partnerships support Picnic’s vision, and will help us launch commercial operations quickly,” said Clayton Wood, CEO of Picnic. “In the past year, we have learned that there is great interest from operators in solutions that alleviate labor shortages and support increased operational efficiencies by digitizing functions like inventory management and identifying marketing benefits from ordering patterns. This financing demonstrates that our investors and the foodservice industry believe in the differentiated value of the Picnic Pizza System, and the strong need for automated solutions that help reduce costs, food waste, and labor shortages in the kitchen.”
The newly announced partnership with OLM, the largest supplier of pizza and pizza components to the convenience store industry around the world, including the United States, Middle East, Japan, and Europe, will offer Picnic’s advanced turnkey solution to OLM customers looking to increase pizza production and hygiene standards. As a supplier, OLM has a global foodservice customer network and licenses its branded food concepts to over 2,000 locations throughout the world. OLM works with a wide variety of kitchens including restaurants, pizzerias, convenience stores, military bases, colleges, sports venues, and more.
“The Picnic Pizza System enables OLM to increase production while also ensuring high-quality products,” said Keith Kinsey, President, and CEO of OLM. “Working with Picnic on an impressive system is an exciting move forward in the growth and development of our manufacturing capabilities and equipment supply options, which opens opportunities for new customers and customer satisfaction.”
Also announced today, a strategic culinary and chef partnership with Ethan Stowell Restaurants which will allow Picnic to showcase its differentiated capabilities at local activities like pop-up shops and events in the Seattle area. Two other partnerships shared were National Service Cooperative, a leader in food service equipment, who will assist Picnic’s customer support, service, and equipment maintenance for its system, and Baseline Hardware Financing who will provide financial support in customer deployments. Picnic anticipates the partnerships will support customer growth and accelerate the implementation of its solution.
The Picnic Pizza System received a new design, interface, safety, and food handling enhancements in Q4 2020 and continues to experience increasing customer demand as the economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and labor shortages become more acute.
Founded in 2016, Picnic (hellopicnic.com) has collected an experienced team of food and technology industry veterans to develop and provide specialized intelligent technology and solutions for the food service and hospitality industries. Restaurants, convenience, and grocery stores, university and corporate campuses, casinos, hotels, cruise lines, sports venues, catering groups, healthcare cafeterias, small kiosks, ghost kitchen operators, mobile food operations, food trucks, delivery, and military sites are among the many segments poised to benefit from the company’s automated food assembly platform integrating RaaS, software, cloud, and deep learning technology.
Picnic continues to receive high profile recognition in the form of National Restaurant Show’s “Kitchen Innovations 2021 Award,” GeekWire 2021 finalist for “Hardware/Gadget/Robotics of the Year,” inclusion in “The FoodTech 500 2020” by Forward Fooding and selected for the “Foodservice Robotics Pioneer Award” at Spain’s Expo HIP 2020, and “Best of CES 2020.”
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