Food and beverage tech startup Botrista closes $10m Series A to make craft beverages accessible via robotic automation
Botrista Technology, a company revolutionizing the beverage industry with the Botrista DrinkBot, announced it has raised $10 million in a Series A funding co-led by Purestone Capital and La Kaffa International with participation from Sony Innovation Fund, Middleby Corporation and PIDC.
The funding brings Botrista's total amount of capital raised to $16 million. With Botrista's 10x year-over-year growth in deployments and revenue, the new funding will be used to further ramp up deployment operations to roll-out the DrinkBot nationally.
Botrista provides beverage solutions to deliver a variety of craft beverages, including infused teas & lattes, flavored lemonades, iced coffees and more - without a full bar. The DrinkBot is an automated craft drink solution that enables any person to make a complex beverage. It capitalizes on the growing craft beverage segment, while driving additional revenue streams with minimal space requirements and training - which is increasingly important with the global labor shortage.
Ordered from a touch screen, the DrinkBot's blender dispenses and mixes drinks in less than 20 seconds with a process that simulates a hand-shaken product, resulting in consistent, quality beverage texture every time.
Sean Hsu, Co-founder and CEO, Botrista: "In 2020, fountain drink sales were down considerably as consumers rapidly switched their drink preferences and were less likely to order fountain drinks during take-out or delivery. While craft beverages are trending, it has become increasingly challenging for foodservice companies to meet demand due to labor shortages and lower staff retention. With nationwide expansion plans, these companies will have the opportunity to drive new revenue with the DrinkBot."
Gen Tsuchikawa, Chief Investment Manager, Sony Innovation Fund (SIF): "Botrista enables a wide range of freshly-crafted high quality drinks. Thanks to its highly integrated hardware and software approach, the DrinkBot unlocks new efficiencies and revenue opportunities. We look forward to Botrista accelerating its deployment momentum in the US and internationally."
CEO Sean Hsu is a serial entrepreneur who owns dozens of technology and invention patents. He has extensive experience in automation, industrial engineering, and business efficiency. Prior to founding Botrista, Hsu spent numerous years at Tesla where he was part of the first autonomous manufacturing team at Gigafactory and many other factories - with an emphasis on automation and robotics for liquid dispensing processes. Using these robotics and dispensing skills, Hsu and the team developed the robot barista: the DrinkBot.
In addition to the blending technology, the DrinkBot includes a cloud-based application called CloudBar with real-time data integration for multiple applications and tracking: an efficient inventory management system that offers powerful data management capabilities to provide guidance for inventory replenishment; sales performance analysis to track menu performance; and a user-friendly tutorial video with a step-by-step guide of the drink making process, cleaning, and maintenance.