Julia Collins May Be “ZUME-ing” Up Your Block With &Pizza
By Namon Freeman
Julia Collins’ Zume Pizza is now worth $2B and partnering with &Pizza
There has been a 300% growth in the food truck industry over the past 3 years
In this digital age phone apps aren’t the only way in which companies can go mobile. Zume Pizza, founded by black tech entrepreneur and mother, Julia Collins, is making dough in Silicon Valley, literally, by dishing out robot made pizzas via AI powered trucks. Collins is unapologetically destroying the heteronormative (pizza) box of the tech world. She’s managed to raise $423 million for Zume that is expanding its robot arsenal with food truck company &Pizza.
Why This Matters: Zume will provide their A.I. infrastructure and mobile delivery trucks to an already flourishing &Pizza, hopefully resulting in an even more efficient android like distribution model. It makes sense for the company to be aligning more of efforts with the U.S. food truck sector that is now a $2 billion plus industry. This markets growth outpaces traditional commercial food services by more than 1%. Food trucks can’t seem to miss with millennial consumers and the only thing holding the industry back is the disproportionate amount of red tape that entrepreneurs must cut through.
Despite this small hurdle the food truck industry is expected to grow by 20% in 2019. Specifically, the industry presents a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs in the black community. For example, in Chicago almost 80% of local food trucks are owned by minority small businesses.
Collins is not only promoting a business model with low barriers to entry, she also has Zume and Planet Forward Ventures utilizing regenerative agriculture, to remain carbon neutral while rolling in the dough. This is likely to leave Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investors’ mouths watering, hence the meaty investment of $375 million from Soft Bank.
What’s Next: For minorities fighting imposter syndrome it may be time follow Collins suit; embrace our struggles and focus on our passions to take advantage of the environmental and socially conscious purchasing power of millennials. Investors are taking note of the diverse talent in the tech space and those entrepreneurs’ ability to address global issues. Companies like Zume will continue to be the leaders of their respective industries as triple bottom lines and flexible business models remain the preferred wave of gentrifying hipsters and VCs alike.
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