Aniai, a startup which includes built a robot that is burger-grilling Alpha Grill, said today it has raised $12 million, bringing its total raise to $15 million. The money will go toward launching its manufacturing that is first facility Factory One, in Southern Korea. The company is likewise deploying a cloud-based software that is AI for the robot called Alpha Cloud.

Robot adoption in the restaurant business is becoming popular as it can help restaurants address their high pain points like labor shortages, and rising wage issues. Robotics enables restaurants to save 30% to 70% of labor costs, and restaurants could replace more than 80% of restaurant positions with robots, according to a research report

“Burger chains hire six to eight kitchen staff per shift to grill burgers,” Aniai CEO Gunpil Hwang said. “Alpha Grill enables restaurants to engage only one staff member to grill burgers.”

The New York-headquartered startup says it will launch Factory One this year to meet the market that is growing for Alpha Grill, with around 500 pre-orders for distribution beginning in the 1st one-fourth of 2024. Its factory shall be able to produce more than 1,000 robots annually. The company’s double-sided Alpha Grill, launched in 2022, can cook 200 patties per hour, or eight patties simultaneously (after human staff places them on a grill).  

The cloud-based software that is AI real time sight sensor will allow Alpha Grill to view the surroundings, determine colour of patties on a grill and monitor the patties’ temperature, form and high quality. In the event that user’s patty doesn’t fulfill its cooking recipes, specs and needs, Alpha Grill quickly informs the staff that is cooking ensure quality control. 

The startup is currently developing its product that is second Kitchen, Hwang informed For Millionaires. With an expected 2025 launch, Alpha Kitchen should be able to automate the entire process that is burger-making from cooking patties and toasting buns to dispensing vegetables and other ingredients.

Aniai currently serves seven customers, including fast-food burger chains in South Korea, CJ Freshway, BAS Burger and DownTowner. It has also been Alpha that is testing Grill hamburger stores when you look at the U.S. since this past year. The ensemble  states it will utilize the most recent capital speed up its expansions when you look at the U.S. and Southern Korea.

Aniai is a component of a growing kitchen automation industry. Other programs in this area feature Miso Robotics, which can be behind Flippy, a burger-flipping robot; Botinkit, a cooking robot maker in Asia; and Chef Robotics in bay area. 

InterVest led the latest financing along side brand-new people SV Investment, UK’s Ignite Innovation and a previous backer, Capstone Partners.

Founded in 2020, the startup had 30 workers at the time of December 2023.