How and what we eat in restaurants or on-the-go is changing with new robotics startup Karakuri. The startup has secured £7 million seed investment led by Ocado.

With growing demand for personalised nutrition as part of a healthy lifestyle, Karakuri uses the latest innovation in robotics, machine learning, optics and sensors to allow restaurants and food retailers to offer personalised, freshly prepared, high quality meals, which maximise nutritional benefits and minimise food waste.

Research shows that almost two-thirds of consumers globally follow a diet that limits or prohibits consumption of some foods or ingredients.

The £7million seed fundraise is led by Ocado, and includes investments from Hoxton Ventures, firstminute capital and Taylor Brothers.

The funding will be used to further develop the company’s technology, strengthen its IP base and expand its team for global growth.

The investment in Karakuri gives Ocado the opportunity to expand its value proposition in grocery, especially through Ocado Zoom, its new immediacy offer, and also provides their Ocado Solutions partners with innovative answers to the challenges of building a strong and profitable food delivery business.  Ocado expects to take delivery of the first of Karakuri’s machines in late 2019.

Karakuri CEO and co-founder Barney Wragg said: “At Karakuri, we are dedicated to providing smart new ways to create and prepare fresh personalised meals. Consumer eating habits in and out of the home are changing rapidly as demand increases for healthier options that match specific dietary requirements.

“By using robotics and machine learning, Karakuri’s systems provide localised micro-manufacturing within an existing restaurant, retail or commercial kitchen. Our systems prepare personalised meals onsite in real time to the exact requirements of each customer. At the same time, our technology aims to minimise food waste, packaging and distribution costs and all of the associated environmental impact.”

Tim Steiner, CEO of Ocado added: “Ocado is constantly striving to identify the best and most innovative solutions to provide consumers with the greatest possible value, choice and convenience.

“Our investment in Karakuri, potentially a game-changer in the preparation of food-to-go, gives us the opportunity to bring the best innovation to the benefit of our own customers as well as our partners”.

Karakuri emerges from the Founders Factory incubator with the goal of utilising groundbreaking intelligent robotics, to transform how we eat for the better and reduce food waste.