DoorDash Acquires Chowbotics, the Robotic Salad-Making Startup

By Thomas Price Tuesday, February 9, 2021

As the push to make the food business more efficient and less prone to risk of mistakes or COVID-19 infection for its workers, many businesses and startups are looking to make significant changes with technology. DoorDash is the latest of these companies investing in creating contactless food creation with their latest acquisition of food technology startup Chowbotics. The startup is well known for its technology which allows their business to make completely contactless salads. The acquisition of Chowbotics marks another big step for DoorDash as the company continues to invest in robotics and automated services to optimize its own operations. The startup’s technology could certainly make a major difference for the company as business trends have shifted since the onset of the pandemic.

A salad in a plastic takeout bowl.

Chowbotics’s Technology and Growth

Chowbotics is a food technology startup that is most notable for the creation of a fully automated salad maker. The startup has affectionately named this device Sally, and it comes with several unique features.

Sally is a large refrigerated device that can be loaded with 22 different hygienically contained ingredients for making a salad, breakfast bowl, or grain bowl within just 90 seconds. Once fully loaded, the business can push Sally to create around 65 different salads consecutively before needing to be restocked.

The startup has raised $21 million since its founding and has been remarkably popular in recent months as the COVID-19 pandemic has put a larger emphasis on maintaining contactless operations for all business industries.

DoorDash’s Acquisition of the Startup

The company recently acquired Chowbotics for a currently undisclosed amount of money. While the details of the business acquisition are still unknown, DoorDash’s move has been part of a pattern towards implementing more automation and robotics into the company. On top of the acquisition of the startup, the business made a push towards creating a robotic delivery system when partnering with Starship Technologies back in 2017, though no major progress has been made on that front.

The company plans to use Chowbotics as a means of expanding the business of many of its merchants by implementing the startup’s device into their current menu offerings once the device is installed at a location.

In a released statement from Chowbotics accompanying the news of the acquisition, CEO of the company, Rick Wilmer said, “The expertise and scale of DoorDash unlocks our most ambitious aspirations to enable food convenience through technology. As the leader in food delivery and on-demand logistics, DoorDash is uniquely positioned to further accelerate Chowbotics’ market presence and new product development. At the same time, Chowbotics’ technology will enable DoorDash merchants to expand their menu offerings to reach new customers or markets without the need to invest in new stores.”

These remarks were further complemented by comments to TechCrunch from DoorDash Co-Founder Stanley Tang who was quoted as saying, “At DoorDash, we are always working to innovate and continue improving how we support our merchant partners and their success — and are excited to leverage this technology to do so in new ways. With the Chowbotics team on board, we can explore new use cases and customers, providing another service to help our merchants grow.”

About the Author

Headshot for author Thomas Price

Tom Price is a writer focusing on Entertainment and Sports Features. He has a degree from NYU in English with a minor in Creative Writing. He has been previously published for Washington Square News, Dignitas, CBR, and Numbers on the Boards.

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