Marcy Venture Partners, the investment firm backed by Jay-Z has led a $16.5 million funding round into Stellar Pizza. The L.A. based food truck company uses robotic technology to make pizza. A single pie can be cooked within five minutes; the truck’s robot chefs produce an estimated 420 pizzas a day. The investment in Stellar Pizza was first announced in fall 2022, but greater expansion is expected to happen this year. According to the pizza company’s site, their mission is to “spread joy in the world, one pizza at a time, with robots.” Three former SpaceX engineers: Benson Tsai, Brian Langone and James Wahawisan first launched Stellar Pizza in 2019. Even outside of the company’s co-founders, most of the executive team used to hold influential roles at SpaceX. As L.A.’s first robot-powered pizza joint, Stellar Pizza is helping transform traditional restaurant industry standards through food automation.
Not having to drain resources on kitchen labor or real estate costs allows Stellar Pizza to offer a more affordable menu; and place greater focus on food quality as well as service methods. The company has no plans to open a traditional retail location. Though, Stellar Pizza franchising may happen in the near future. You can learn more about their special franchising list here. Human staff is still needed to supervise orders, interact with customers and make final preparations at the food truck. However, all actual cooking will be left to robotic pizza makers. After ordering a Stellar Pizza, you can watch robot technology prepare your food through a TV monitor. Currently, the Stellar Pizza food truck is stationed at the University of Southern California (USC). If you’re in the L.A. area (towards the end of April), you can also sample Stellar Pizza at Pizza City Fest L.A. See the truck’s full schedule here.