Singapore-based venture capital firm Qualgro has made its first foray in Europe by anchoring a €10 million ($11.2 million) Series A funding round for French foodtech startup Pazzi, which makes pizza using robots.
French fund Eutopia and existing investors Partech and Daphni also participated in the funding round in Pazzi, which means “crazy” in Italian. So crazy that its robots could produce 100 pizzas per hour.
But more than just being a robotic pizza company, Pazzi says it aims to harness robotics and automation technology to create turnkey solutions, especially for sourcing quality ingredients, recruiting staff and increasing food traceability and safety.
The company, founded by two young French inventors Sebastien Roverso and Cyrill Hamon, said it will use the fresh funding to accelerate its technology-based development by strengthening its R&D teams and industrial partnerships. It also plans to open its first restaurant in Paris in September.
Pazzi CEO Philippe Goldman pointed out that the global fast food market is estimated at €900 billion ($1 trillion).
“The objective is now to conquer not only the global fast food market but also to fight junk food while meeting the structural challenges of the sector,” Goldman said.
Qualgro managing partner Heang Chhor said Pazzi’s autonomous restaurant concept is meeting a growing demand from consumers across the world for fast, qualitative, and affordable food options.
“We are convinced that this concept could be rapidly scaled and implemented in big cities across USA, Europe, and Asia,” Chhor said.
DEALSTREETASIA reported in August that Qualgro made the first close of its $100-million ASEAN fund, which invests in B2B companies in the tech space across Southeast Asia and Australia.
Qualgro makes investments in the $2-3 million range, and will look at larger ticket sizes in the range of $5-8 million from the second vehicle, Chhor had then said.
The second vehicle is double the size of Qualgro’s first $50-million fund, indicating the firm’s growing confidence in the region.
Qualgro’s first fund has made 19 Series A and B investments over three years, mainly covering B2B companies in artificial intelligence, security, data analytics, and SaaS. The second vehicle will maintain the same sectoral focus but veer largely towards Series B investments.