'Penny' Is A Robot Food Runner That Just Got Backed By Softbank

Bear Robotics manufacturers a robot food runner for restaurants called Penny and just raised $32 million in a Series A funding round led by Japan's Softbank SFTBY.

What Happened

Bear Robotics' Penny is a self-driving robot tasked with carrying food and beverages to customers. The robot is designed specifically to navigate across a busy dining room and debuted at the 2018 National Restaurant Association trade show, according to Nation's Restaurant News.

The robot is in service at a handful of restaurants in Los Angeles, a senior living center in California, along with restaurants and cafes in Tokyo and Seoul.

"We aim to allow servers to spend more time with their customers and have robots do the tedious work," Bear Robotics co-founder John Ha wrote in a Medium post. This, we believe, enables the best possible employee and customer experience.

Why It's Important

Softbank said in a statement obtained by RNR it sees a role for robotics to facilitate the ordering, running, and delivering food aspects of running a restaurant business. The food-service industry is estimated at $800 billion in the U.S. alone and Softbank said its new investment can "improve the lives of customers, employees, and owners."

Now that the company secured $32 million worth of new capital, the robot could be ready for mass production.

"Down the road, we hope to hear people saying, 'Running a successful restaurant is so much simpler and easier thanks to Bear Robotics'," Ha also wrote. "And with a recent Series A investment of $32 million led by SoftBank Group, we're excited to open the next chapter of our journey."

Related Links

GrubHub Launches New Hardware, CEO Talks State Of Pickup Ordering

The Latest Food Companies To Announce Ambitious Green Goals

Photo by Franck V. on Unsplash

Posted In: Bear RoboticsfoodNations Restaurant NewsRestaurantsTechMediaGeneral

Ad Disclosure: The rate information is obtained by Bankrate from the listed institutions. Bankrate cannot guaranty the accuracy or availability of any rates shown above. Institutions may have different rates on their own websites than those posted on Bankrate.com. The listings that appear on this page are from companies from which this website receives compensation, which may impact how, where, and in what order products appear. This table does not include all companies or all available products.

All rates are subject to change without notice and may vary depending on location. These quotes are from banks, thrifts, and credit unions, some of whom have paid for a link to their own Web site where you can find additional information. Those with a paid link are our Advertisers. Those without a paid link are listings we obtain to improve the consumer shopping experience and are not Advertisers. To receive the Bankrate.com rate from an Advertiser, please identify yourself as a Bankrate customer. Bank and thrift deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Credit union deposits are insured by the National Credit Union Administration.

Consumer Satisfaction: Bankrate attempts to verify the accuracy and availability of its Advertisers' terms through its quality assurance process and requires Advertisers to agree to our Terms and Conditions and to adhere to our Quality Control Program. If you believe that you have received an inaccurate quote or are otherwise not satisfied with the services provided to you by the institution you choose, please click here.

Rate collection and criteria: Click here for more information on rate collection and criteria.