Black Woman Entrepreneur Wins $48 Million Towards Her Robotic Pizza Startup
By Victor Ochieng
Black women are making notable inroads in entrepreneurship, and it's an interesting development. Weeks after two women made a historic achievement in crowdfunding, another Black woman just won herself a sweet $48 million for her robotic pizza business, reported Tech Crunch.
Julia Collins is a co-founder of Zume, a company that combines automation and food industry. Zume is geared towards revolutionizing the pizza industry by developing robotics for ready-to-order pizza. CNBC reported that the robots are made in such a way that they allow for adding ingredients, including pizza sauces and sending the pizzas to the oven. The company has workers available on-site just to taste and make sure they meet the standards set out by customers.
Currently, the company, which is located in Mountain View, California, services areas of the Bay and is keen on expanding those services to other locations. The Tech Crunch reported that Zume is now only $2 million shy of hitting their $50 million target. In December of last year, the company managed to raise a whopping $23 million.
Collins and co-founder Alex Garden said the funds they receive will be channeled towards expanding their market and roping in more workers.
According to Collins, Zume's goal is to solve food problems facing the American society by making affordable food more accessible so as to cut down on the labor that many employees have to endure.
“We want to make sure everyone has access to high-quality, affordable food,” she said. “We wanted to identify places where humans were overtaxed physically, bored, or whether the job they were doing was not safe, like sticking their hand into a 600-degree oven for six hours a day.”
It was in 2016 when Zume sold their first pizza. Since then, they’ve been able to expand their business and are keen on covering the whole of Bay area by 2018.
While Zume's innovation is lauded in many quarters, there are those who are worried that this is likely to result in loss of jobs.
Zume isn’t ending the game there. They’ve revealed that they’re already working to automate more functions within the company as a way to increase efficiency and to cut down on operational costs. This is the same vision that many companies that have embraced robotics are working towards.