Aniai is bringing burger-cooking robots to restaurants with $12M


AniaiAlpha Grill, the startup making burger-grilling robot Alpha Grill, said today it has raised $12 million, bringing its total funding to $15 million. The money will be used to launch its first manufacturing facility, Factory One, in South Korea. The company will also deploy a cloud-based AI software platform for robots called Alpha Cloud.

Adoption of robots is becoming popular in the restaurant business Can help restaurants deal with major problems like labor shortage and rising wage issues, Robotics enables restaurants to save 30% to 70% of labor costs, and restaurants can replace more than 80% of restaurant positions with robots, according to a research report,

“Burger chains employ six to eight kitchen staff per shift to grill burgers,” said Gunpil Hwang, CEO of Aniai. “Alpha Grill enables restaurants to employ only one staff member to grill burgers.”

The New York-headquartered startup says it will launch Factory One this year to meet growing market demand for the Alpha Grill, with approximately 500 pre-orders set to begin for delivery in the first quarter of 2024. Its manufacturing facility will be capable of producing more than 1,000 robots annually. The company's double-sided Alpha Grill, launching in 2022, can cook 200 patties per hour, or eight patties at once (after human employees place them on the grill).

Cloud-based AI software and real-time vision sensors will enable Alpha Grill to sense the environment, identify the color of the patties on the grill, and monitor the temperature, size and quality of the patties. If a user's patty does not meet his/her cooking recipes, specifications and requirements, Alpha Grill immediately notifies the cooking staff to ensure quality control.

Hwang told TechCrunch that the startup is currently developing its second product, the Alpha Kitchen. With an expected 2025 launch, Alpha Kitchen will be able to automate the entire burger-making process, from cooking the patties and toasting the buns to delivering vegetables and other ingredients.

Aniai currently serves seven customers, including fast-food burger chains CJ Freshway, BAS Burgers and Downtowner in South Korea. It has also been testing the Alpha Grill with burger chains in the US since last year. The organization says it will also use the latest capital Accelerate your expansion in the US and South Korea.

is part of Aniai A growing kitchen automation industry, Other companies are also involved in this sector Miso Robotics, who is behind the burger-flipping robot Flippy; Botinkit, a Chinese cooking robot maker; And Chef Robotics In San Francisco.

Intervest led the latest funding along with new investors SV Investments, UK's Ignite Innovation and previous backer Capstone Partners.

Founded in 2020, the startup had 30 employees as of December 2023.