Zume’s A.I. Pizza Plans Didn’t Deliver After Raising More than $500M+

By CultureBanx Team

  • Robot pizza startup Zume shuts down after raising more than $500M
  • The pizza delivery company which had raised a total of $445 million since its founding and was valued at $2.25B

Zume, the robot pizza startup founded by black tech entrepreneur Julia Collins, once valued at $2 billion is shutting down. The company was once making dough in Silicon Valley, literally, by dishing out robot made pizzas via AI powered trucks. This failure comes despite Zume raising hundreds of millions from investors including Softbank and AME Cloud Ventures, per Crunchbase.

Why This Matters: The pizza delivery company which had raised a total of $445 million since its founding in 2015, ceased operations last month and is liquidating its assets, according to a report from The Information. In 2018, SoftBank poured $375 million into the company, according to Pitchbook, valuing the startup, still with a relatively untested product, at around $2.25 billion.

Zume burned through cash without bringing in much revenue, less than $1 million in 2019, according to Bloomberg. At the beginning of 2020, Zume quit the pizza game, laid off half of its staff and pivoted into engineering sustainable packaging. 

The company had struggled with problems like stopping melted cheese from sliding off its pizzas while they cooked in moving trucks, per Bloomberg. Its difficulties led to a string of high-profile departures and financial problems.

Situational Awareness: Collins also has Planet Forward Ventures which was utilizing regenerative agriculture, to remain carbon neutral while rolling in the dough. At the time it seemed likely to leave Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investors’ mouths watering. She left Zume a few years before the company had to close up shop.

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