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Aniai closes $12M in funding


New York Metropolis-based Aniai, a robotic firm and supplier of kitchen options, has secured a $12 million pre-Sequence A funding spherical.

Led by InterVest, one of many largest enterprise capital companies in South Korea, the spherical contains funding from first-time traders, SV Funding and UK-based Ignite Innovation, in addition to an current investor, Capstone Companions. This most up-to-date funding brings Aniai’s complete funding up to now to $15 million; it secured a $3 million seed spherical funding led by Capstone Companions and Lotte Ventures in 2023.

Based in 2020, Aniai’s flagship product, Alpha Grill, leverages robotics for environment friendly hamburger cooking, boasting a double-sided grill that may cook dinner as much as eight patties concurrently or 200 patties per hour. When Alpha Grill is deployed in a kitchen, restaurant manufacturers can streamline operations by eliminating repetitive duties related to hamburger patty cooking duties reminiscent of urgent and flipping. This not solely reduces cooking time but in addition decreases labor depth for workers, stated Gunpil Hwang, CEO and co-founder of Aniai.

“Aniai has efficiently accomplished a spherical of funding from each home and worldwide traders who’ve acknowledged our modern options, future potential and noteworthy progress throughout the foodservice {industry} up to now,” he stated in an organization press launch. “This capital infusion will assist our mission to enhance kitchen productiveness by means of robotics and automation whereas serving to us ramp-up manufacturing to fulfill present and future demand. Moreover, Aniai plans to enhance its robotic options by including superior, cloud-based, AI software program to additional improve the capabilities and efficiency of the Alpha Grill early this 12 months, which can profit new and current Aniai clients.”

The upcoming software program launch for Alpha Grill will embody a characteristic that may make use of AI to discern the colour of the hamburger patties and assess their high quality by means of real-time imaginative and prescient sensors throughout the cooking course of. As an example, if a hamburger patty doesn’t meet model’s cooking specs and necessities, the Alpha Grill promptly notifies the cooking workers, making certain rigorous and enhanced high quality management.

With its most up-to-date funding spherical, Aniai will fast-track the launch of its first manufacturing facility referred to as Manufacturing unit One in South Korea to assist guarantee secure manufacturing and provide chain administration for Alpha Grill, aligning with its ongoing North American and international enlargement efforts. Aniai’s Manufacturing unit One has the capability to provide over 1,000 Alpha Grill items per 12 months.

“Aniai has demonstrated its market prowess by efficiently commercializing its modern cooking robots, thereby delivering industry-leading worthwhile impression to its clients,” a consultant from InterVest stated within the launch. “The corporate enhanced its worth by pioneering a brand new market and securing substantial contracts inside a short timeframe. We stay up for seeing the constructive impression that Aniai’s cooking robots will make on the U.S. Fast Service Restaurant (QSR) {industry}.”

Aniai has been piloting Alpha Grill with a number of North American hamburger manufacturers since Q3 of 2023, concentrating on a number of implementations and preliminary rollouts throughout the subsequent 12 months. The corporate has deployed Alpha Grill to seven South Korean hamburger franchises, together with Down Towner, BAS Burger, CJ Freshway and Mother’s Contact. It has additionally not too long ago introduced a partnership with Lotteria, Teisty Burger and Fault Burger, securing 500 Alpha Grill pre-orders for supply starting early in Q1 of 2024.

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