UK-based venture capitalist firm Ignite Innovation, which has an office in London, has made an undisclosed investment in automated kitchen start-up Aniai as part of a US$12m (£10m) funding round.
Aniai has developed a robotic burger chef, with its ‘Alpha Grill’ using a double-sided grill to cook up to eight patties at once.
An upcoming software release will use AI to discern the colour of the hamburger patties and assess their quality through real-time vision sensors during the cooking process.
For instance, if a hamburger patty does not meet a brand’s cooking specifications and requirements, the Alpha Grill promptly notifies the cooking staff, ensuring rigorous and enhanced quality control.
The latest financing will be used to expedite the launch of its first manufacturing hub in South Korea and expand further across North America.
Anai is headquartered in New York City, and has been working with US hamburger brands since late 2023, with pre-order customers including Lotteria, Teisty Burger and Fault Burger
Gunpil Hwang, CEO and co-founder of Aniai, said: “This capital infusion will help our mission to improve kitchen productivity through robotics and automation while helping us ramp-up production to meet current and future demand.
“Additionally, Aniai plans to augment its robotic solutions by adding advanced, cloud-based, AI software to further enhance the capabilities and performance of the Alpha Grill early this year, which will benefit new and existing Aniai customers.”