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California’s Bear Robotics secures $81M to employ robots to assist staff in restaurants during shortage

Bear Robotics
Image credits: Bear Robotics

California-based Bear Robotics, on Tuesday, announced that it has secured an $81M Series B funding round led by new investor IMM. Others including Cleveland Avenue, LLC and existing investors, joined the round. 

The funding round comes two years after raising a $32M Series A funding round in January 2020 led by SoftBank. To date, Bear Robotics has raised $117M in total funding. 

This new funding will accelerate the company’s efforts in adding new products and expand its reach into new markets globally. Further, the company will also leverage this investment to hire additional top talent.

“Achieving this next round of funding is a key milestone for us to be able to accelerate our product roadmap and expand our go-to-market initiatives with our partners. We’ve also been extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to help small and medium-sized businesses during the recent labor shortage, and look forward to our continued impact there,” says Juan Higueros, Bear Robotics COO and co-Founder.

Image credits: Bear Robotics

Why Bear Robotics?

Various types of robots are increasingly influencing consumers’ service experiences lately. As the dining industry is struggling due to the rising minimum labor costs, it is possible that the utilisation of robots in restaurants will gradually increase. 

Many experts believe that we will see more robotic restaurant servers in the future. Social robots that can function as friends for humans are considered to be an area of significant future value. 

Bear Robotics addresses the increased pressure faced by the restaurant industry around wages, labor supply, and cost efficiencies.

The US company aims to revolutionise the restaurant and foodservice industry using robotics and AI.

Image credits: Bear Robotics

Improves dining experience

Founded by Brennand Pierce, Fangwei Li, John Ha in 2017, Bear Robotics makes robots that help customers receive an improved dining experience, employees with greater job satisfaction, and owners of restaurants with an increase in profits.

The company’s flagship product named Servi is an all-in-one fully autonomous mobile robotics that does repetitive work encountered by hospitality employees.

“Having started my own restaurant years ago, I learned firsthand just how hard things could get,” said John Ha, Bear Robotics CEO and Founder. “I thought there must be a way to automate some of these repetitive tasks without losing what makes a restaurant great. That’s why we created Servi. It’s a solution meant to enhance the experience of customers, employees, and operators. While others are trying to fully automate work, we’re trying to elevate the future of work for stakeholders in this industry that keep it going each day.”

As per the company’s claims, it has grown from an idea to a fleet of thousands of fully autonomous service robots, saving an array of small business owners from labor shortages and staff turnover in a span of four years.

Bear Robotics’ growth figures

Currently, the company operates in 33 states in America, 4 countries, and two continents. The company says it has shipped 5000 robots to customers in less than two years. 

Our organisation of 200 people has now crossed a milestone of shipping 5,000 robots to customers in less than 2 years. Bear Robotics works with partners like the Compass Group, Denny’s, Marriott, and Pepsi.

To date, Servi has traveled over 335K miles and made over 28M deliveries, says the company. 

Further, Servi has also received the prominent NSF certification, which is the golden standard related to the hygiene and cleanability of products that come in contact with food. 

Investor

IMM Investment Corp. is an alternative investment firm in Korea, focusing on Venture Capital, Mezzanine, and Infrastructure. The company focuses on Information Technology, Healthcare/Biotech, and Manufacturing.

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