French food tech startup EKIM raises €2.2 million to start the food “robolution”

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EKIM, the French Food Tech startup created at the end of 2013, has completed its first institutional fundraising of €2.2 million with the investment funds Partech and daphni. On this occasion, Jérôme Tafani – CEO of Quick and Burger King France – joins EKIM’s Strategic Committee. EKIM aims to revolutionize the world of food tech and announces the creation of the first fully autonomous restaurant with pizzaiolo robots cooking before the customer’s eyes.

Together with the fresh capital and the developed technology, EKIM is launching the business development of a new fast food solution with worldwide potential. The startup aims to launch a new turnkey concept of “tech good food” with the ambition of a worldwide roll-out. Following a pilot project in France at the end of 2018, it will be developed under franchise or license agreements in 2019 under the name PAZZI.

PAZZI is a turnkey “tech good food” concept offering pizza – alongside drinks, desserts, and salads. Several formats – such as the seated mode, the takeaway, the food court, and eventually, the drive-in – will be available under franchise or license agreements from 2019 onwards. Thanks to the technology involved (robots, apps, and data analysis), the model developed by EKIM makes it possible to offer customers an enhanced dining experience with high quality ingredients, optimal service time, ultrapersonalized service, and guaranteed entertainment. The robots are fully autonomous from order to delivery, i.e. they require no human intervention. In addition, PAZZI is the first-ever remotely run restaurant.

According to Philippe Goldman, CEO of EKIM: “Cose da pazzi means ‘it’s completely mad’ in Italian. This was my initial reaction when I discovered the project in the summer of 2016. PAZZI represents a huge technological challenge: optimizing the total production process of a pizza (order, preparation, baking, and delivery) within a 45m² area, customizing each order, adding a show cooking dimension, all of this at a reasonable investment cost. These are the challenges we faced during the four-year research and development phase. Yet this project would not make sense had we not included the search for ingredients of the highest quality. The objective is not only to conquer the global fast food market of over €900 billion (source: Xerfi), but as well to move away from junk food – a global public health concern -, but also to extend our offer to the foodservice industry. The food “robolution” is around the corner.”

Romain Lavault, general partner of Partech, stated: “The meeting with the EKIM team was an immediate success. It is very rare to disrupt both the economic equation and the quality of a product already present everywhere in the world. What this future leader of French Food tech manages to achieve is incredible: to offer a faster, more flexible, more connected, and more economical service while increasing quality and choice thanks to new recipes and premium ingredients. Discussions regarding the next round of funding scheduled for the end of the year have already begun.”