DoorDash acquires robotic food preparation company Chowbotics

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DoorDash acquires Chowbotics, an automated food preparation company, to expand its offering of fresh meals.

San Francisco-based DoorDash announced the acquisition on Monday. Terms of the deal, reached late last year, were not disclosed.

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Chowbotics, based in Hayward, Calif., Which was founded seven years ago, makes a refrigerator-sized robot called Sally that can store up to 22 prepared ingredients. Sally uses these ingredients to make up to 65 salads, bowls and other meals at a time.

Prior to this year, Chowbotics had sold around 125 of its $ 35,000 robots, mostly to universities, medical centers, and grocery stores. But the company said sales surged during the pandemic as customers sought contactless ways to distribute food.

DoorDash said Chowbotics’ robots could allow its partner restaurants to offer more varieties of meals without having to expand their kitchen space. Other DoorDash merchants, like convenience stores, could also use it to expand into fresh foods.

Chowbotics CEO Rick Wilmer said DoorDash’s reach will help his business grow. DoorDash offers delivery to 390,000 merchants in the United States, Canada and Australia and is the market leader in food delivery in the United States

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DoorDash said the Chowbotics staff are now DoorDash employees. But if not, Chowbotics will continue to operate independently and has no plans to change its name.

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