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Zume, Inc.
IndustryManufacturing, Food technology, Food delivery, Automation, Food packaging
Founded2015; 8 years ago (2015)
FoundersAlex Garden
Julia Collins
Headquarters151 Factory Stores Drive Camarillo, California, United States[1]
Area served
Key people
Alex Garden
ProductsSustainable products, Packaging

Zume, Inc. is an American manufacturing-technology company headquartered in Camarillo, California.[2] Founded in 2015 as an automated food delivery company, in 2020 the company shifted to food packaging and delivery logistics.


Zume was founded in 2015 as Zume Pizza[3] by Chairman and CEO Alex Garden[4] and Julia Collins.[5][6] In 2016, it raised $6 million in Series A investment funding from Jerry Yang[7] and SignalFire, a venture capital firm.[8]

Zume's initial business proposition was the automated production and delivery of pizza, which would largely be made by robots and cooked en route to customers.[9][8] In September 2016, it delivered its first pizzas. They were cooked in a van equipped with 56 GPS-equipped automated ovens, timed to be ready shortly before arrival at the address, and then sliced by a self-cleaning robot cutter.[5][6][10] The pizza preparation process was partly automated by November 2016.[11]

The company secured a patent on cooking during delivery,[7][12] which included algorithms to predict customer choices, and planned to partner with businesses to provide other robot-prepared meal components, such as salads and desserts.[12] In fall 2017, Zume raised $48 million in Series B funding.[13]

Baking pizzas in a moving vehicle proved to be impractical, and customers complained about quality problems with the robot-made pizzas; the idea was eventually shelved.[14]

Zume, Inc.[edit]

By 2018, the company announced that it would move away from pizza and make use of artificial intelligence and kitchen technology to become a platform for automated food trucks and would form a larger umbrella company, Zume, Inc.[15] In April 2018, the company announced that it would begin license its automation technology.[15] It subsequently also began selling food packaging; it holds patents for sustainable food-delivery boxes.[16] It projected revenues of $250 million and $1 billion in the final quarters of 2020 and 2021, respectively.[14] In November 2018, the company raised $375 million from SoftBank, giving it a valuation of $2.25 billion.[17] It subsequently focused on automated production and packaging for other food companies,[16][18] and in 2019 it bought Pivot, a company which made plant-based packaging.[19][20]

The company sought a valuation of $4 billion in 2019 and generated significant public attention.[16][14] Its packaging could not legally hold food in some jurisdictions, including San Francisco, because it contained PFAS, which are chemicals considered harmful to humans by the EPA.[14] In 2020, the founders of Pivot, which Zume acquired, claimed the company was incorrectly valued at the time they were purchased for $20.5 million, which purportedly included $10 million in stock.[20] By May 2020, the company started manufacturing compostable food packaging.[14][21]


  1. ^ "Robotics Startup Zume Is Now Selling Masks". Business Insider. Retrieved 5 May 2021.
  2. ^ "Zume's pizza robots are now turning waste into compostable packaging". CNBC. Retrieved 2 August 2021.
  3. ^ "Zume Pizza: Tech start-up that uses robots to make pizza raises nearly $50mn". FDF World.com. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  4. ^ Maze, Jonathan (November 2, 2018). "Robotic pizza-maker Zume raises $375M". Restaurant Business. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Kendall, Marissa (September 29, 2016). "Zume Pizza: Made by robots, baked in delivery truck". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved January 2, 2017.
  6. ^ a b Entis, Laura; Baran, Jonathan (September 29, 2016). "This Robot-Made Pizza Is Baked in the Van on the Way to Your Door". Fortune. Retrieved January 2, 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Pie in the sky: Technology firms may struggle to disrupt the food business". The Economist. November 26, 2016. Retrieved January 3, 2017.
  8. ^ a b Mannes, John (September 1, 2016). "Robots and on-board ovens deliver on Zume's promise of better pizza". TechCrunch.
  9. ^ Zaleski, Olivia (June 24, 2016). "Inside Silicon Valley's Robot Pizzeria". Bloomberg. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  10. ^ Savvides, Lexxy (November 4, 2016). "See inside a robot pizza factory". CNET. Retrieved January 2, 2017.
  11. ^ Artisanal pizza — with a robot’s personal touch
  12. ^ a b Elgan, Mike (December 24, 2016). "Software is eating the food world". Computerworld (opinion). Retrieved January 2, 2017.
  13. ^ "A look at 42 women in tech who crushed it in 2017". TechCrunch. December 22, 2017. Retrieved January 11, 2018.
  14. ^ a b c d e McBride, Sarah (13 February 2020). "SoftBank's $375 Million Bet on Pizza Went Really Bad Really Fast". Bloomberg. Retrieved 10 July 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  15. ^ a b Heater, Brian (April 25, 2018). "Zume looks to life beyond pizza". TechCrunch. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
  16. ^ a b c "Why a robot pizza startup could be worth $4 billion". Vox. Retrieved 5 May 2021.
  17. ^ "Robot pizza maker reportedly takes $375 million investment from SoftBank". CNBC. November 2, 2018. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
  18. ^ Takahashi, Dean (June 13, 2019). "Zume acquires Pivot Packaging to eliminate plastic in fresh food delivery". VentureBeat. Retrieved June 2, 2021.
  19. ^ "Zume buys packaging company, with eyes on plant-based plastic alternative". TechCrunch. Retrieved 5 May 2021.
  20. ^ a b Schubarth, Cromwell (2020-04-22). "Zume accused of fraud, non-payment by founders of company it bought". Silicon Valley Business Journal. Retrieved 2021-07-11.
  21. ^ Hernbroth, Megan (2020-05-18). "Former robotics startup Zume is now selling face masks and appears to have stopped producing the food packaging that it refocused its business on in January". Business Insider. Retrieved 2021-07-15.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°23′56″N 122°05′02″W / 37.398925°N 122.083925°W / 37.398925; -122.083925