Aug 25, 2021 - Economy

Sweetgreen acquires automated kitchen startup Spyce

A robotic arm holding a bag of money

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sweetgreen, the quick-service restaurant chain that recently filed for an IPO, acquired Spyce, an automated kitchen startup that operates two of its own restaurants in Boston.

Why it matters: This is all about pandemic consequences. For Sweetgreen, that means hedging against labor shortages like the one currently impeding all service industries. For Spyce, which planned to both sell its robotic tech and build its own restaurant brand, that's an acknowledgment that the latter was too difficult in this environment.

Details: Word is that it's an all-stock deal, initially valued just above the $60 million where Spyce last raised VC funding from investors like Khosla Ventures, Maveron, Dragon Capital, Collaborative Fund and chef Daniel Boulud.

The bottom line: "The company's robotic kitchen and conveyor belts are able to cook and serve its warm bowls and salads without any human intervention," writes CNBC's Amelia Lucas.

  • "Sweetgreen said the deal is intended to improve the customer experience by filling orders faster and more accurately and giving its employees more time to focus on preparing food."
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