The global food robotics market is valued around $2 billion in 2020 and is estimated to reach a valuation of $4 billion by 2026. However, not many companies work in this sector.
One of the pioneers in the robotised catering market segment is France-based food tech startup Bolk, which can be also referred to as ‘the Tesla of kitchen’, and now it has raised over €4 million in the first round of funding.
Who invested in Bolk?
The investment came from angel investors including Kima Ventures (Xavier Niel), and Pierre Kosciusko-Morizet & Christophe Courtin, industrialists in the new food models sector including Anthony Bourbon (Feed), Matthieu Vincent (DigitalFoodLab), Thomas Battistini (Jour) & Adrien Verhack (Dejbox) and top-level sports personalities including Léo Dubois & Mathias Pogba.
Bolk will use the investment to manufacture several prototypes of robots that create meals. Also, it will test them in companies and thereby enter the robotised catering market.
Nicolas Jeanne, Bolk founder said, “This fundraising is an important step in Bolk’s growth. It will enable us to gain an initial share of the market. The catering sector is constantly evolving and we are building a new self-service food experience, offering companies and their staff a daily menu of delicious and eco-responsible meals at the best possible prices; meals that are made to order and produced in 45 seconds flat, therefore ultra-fresh.”
Ambitious plans for 2022
Bolk was founded in 2020 by Nicolas Jeanne with the aim of creating the first profitable robotised food business model in the world. He graduated with a BBA in Entrepreneurship in 2015 from the EDHEC business school. Earlier, he launched the JEF Label network with the objective of federating and branding high-potential entrepreneurs and connecting them to an entrepreneurial ecosystem.
For Bolk, 2022 is the first year of industrial production and commercial exploitation. It is in plans to produce nearly 40 robots and deploy them in both the Île-de-France and other provinces.
Bolk robot: All you need to know
A Bolk robot takes up less than two square metres of floor space and is simply plugged into the mains. It can produce up to 60 meals an hour with up to 300 different combinations, sweet or savoury to be served cold or to be reheated. These robots are designed and manufactured in Paris.
Initially, Bolk aims to market its robot in companies but is also interested in places where people circulate and in the development of robotised catering. In terms of competitors, British startup Karakuri is also doing a similar job with its first automated canteen run by a robotic arm for making meals.