November 16, 2021
Nommi, a robotics startup developing customizable bowl-based meals, has announced it is seeking to raise up to $20 million in seed capital, and is now open for reservations. As part of the investment, Sam Nazarian has led funding as part of a 50/50 deal to establish robotic Nommi kitchens in partnership with his global food tech platform, C3 (Creating Culinary Communities).
The company, which is backed by robotic incubator Wavemaker Labs, is building a stand-alone robotic kitchen that can produce and dispense any grain-, noodle- or lettuce-based dish through a fully integrated cooking system. Along with C3, Nommi will offer consumers a more efficient way to access healthy and fresh food, the companies said in a statement.
Nommi said it is reimagining the restaurant experience through robotics and software. The high-grade, robotic kitchen can cook meals in as little as three minutes from start to finish. The battery-powered and self-charging machine has limitless menu options, and consumers will be able to select multiple bases and toppings to meet their cuisine desires. Because Nommi can be configured for both single and multiple brands, the company said it opens up opportunities to partner with restaurants and chefs who would like to expand their reach to additional markets.
The partnership kicked off with a projected order volume of 1,000 units by C3, which has served more than 2.3 million meals through more than 40 culinary brands over the last 12 months. The food tech platform’s omnichannel approach “strives to harness the ordering power of Gen-Z and Millennials who studies have shown are the main users of third-party delivery providers.”
The two companies will start an initial pilot program through “Iron Chef” Masaharu Morimoto’s Sa’Moto restaurant brand. The Sa’Moto robotic kitchen will provide customers with the same menu items, but will also be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
“The sky is the limit through our partnership with Nommi to further expand C3’s food tech offerings,” said Sam Nazarian, founder and CEO of C3. “With Nommi, we are working to reimagine the restaurant experience by partnering AI with proven recipes and menus helmed by C3’s renowned chefs. By doing so, we are taking traditional concepts and making them new for an ever-changing restaurant industry. We are thrilled to be at the forefront of the digital kitchen revolution and with the support of the team at Nommi.”
Each Nommi machine can hold up to 330 bowls and lids before needing a refill. It moves forward and back to collect ingredients, and allows for multiple bowls to be prepared simultaneously. The bowl rotates 360 degrees as it moves through the machine to allow for precise ingredient placement. Once a meal is prepared, it is stored in a safe and sanitary locker (with a capacity to hold 21 meals) for consumers to pick up via a unique QR code. The Nommi also self-cleans after preparing each meal, giving consumers a contactless experience with no human interaction, the company said.
The entire Nommi kitchen can also fit into a single container or food truck for easy transport, opening up opportunities for on-the-go delivery and catering at medium- and long-term events, such as corporate parties, movie productions and construction sites.
“Nommi’s secret sauce is undoubtedly its unmatched versatility, both from a brand and consumer perspective,” said Buck Jordan, president and co-founder of Nommi. “Partnering with an innovative platform like C3 adds another layer of access to numerous revenue streams and unique customers. Both companies are disrupting the food industry and our partnership could not come at a better time.”
In addition to C3, Nommi is backed by its lead investor, Wavemaker Partners, and its studio, Wavemaker Labs, which focus directly on automation. Wavemaker has incubated and launched several robotics brands, including Miso Robotics, Piestro, Bobacino, Future Acres, and Graze.
For more details on the Nommi technology, visit their website here.