Singapore-based kitchen robotics startup ZImplistic is launching its long awaited flagship product, the Rotimatic, that makes the traditional Indian flat bread, the staple food for millions of people worldwide, with pre-orders being sent to consumers in Singapore and the US.
The 10 motor-equipped Internet-connectd automated roti-maker, which is paired with a mobile app, has experienced much anticipation as the Singapore and US pre-orders have reportedly hit US$5m in value, before the company stopped taking new orders. The subsequent waiting list is valued at US$115m, while all Singaporean customers have received theirs.
Led by co-founders Rishi Israni and Pranoti Nagarkar Israni, who serve in the roles of CEO and CTO respectively, Zimplistic was founded in 2008 when the design process for the Rotimatic – the world’s first full-automated robot flat-bread maker – began.
When asked on the origins of the idea, Nagarkar told DEALSTREETASIA that roti-making automation always came up when examining startup ideas. Their offices now count more than 80 employees.
Mentioned as “one of the best” inventions at CES 2015, among the biggest tech conferences of the year, the Rotimatic aims to automate the roti making process, central component in many asian cuisines.
Rotimatic works by pulling together flour, oil and water from three hoppers, mixing them into a dough and baking it into a roti in under two minutes. It is able to work with any wheat flour brand, allowing for customisation of the roti and doughballs and flour discs for poori’s.
One can make up to 20 rotis at once, and can program the machine from the mobile app synced with the Rotimatic. The machine’s connectivity allows for easy software updates to communicate machine data for potential tech support.
With $15 million invested in R&D since 2008, Zimplistic has secured 8 patents for its product. The startup has secured $14.5 million funding across three rounds since its creation, the last one being an US$11.5m Series B in July 2015 from NSI Ventures and Robert Bosch Venture Capital, the corporate venture arm of Robert Bosch Ltd.
“Challenges were faced in every aspect of the software and hardware design and construction,” Rishi Israni and Pranoti Nagarkar Israni told DEALSTREETASIA.
They shared: “We really took time to finish up the technology and we are proud of the product we have been developing since 2008. The Rotimatic has and is constantly being tested in our workshop, and we are confident of its quality.”
“One machine has an expected life cycle of more than 20 000 rotis.The feedback we’ve been getting so far is fantastic, and we are excited to finally answer this very high demand that we have had for our product,” they added.
As of today, the Rotimatic will only be sold on the company’s website, as a desire for controlled, organic growth was mentioned in the course of the interaction. No other products have been announced by Zimplistic.
According to Mrs Nagarkar, their main focus at the current time is “the production and delivering of the Rotimatic.”