Doordash bought Chowbotics last year and is now shutting down a salad robot startup.

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It’s been a good couple of years for robotics and automation startups. With all the successful funding and launches, it can be easy to lose sight of how challenging running a robotics company can be. It may not be all that surprising that Chowbotics is shutting down, but it’s impossible not to counter the recent news with the hopeful tone the company has issued since its acquisition of Doordash in February 2021.

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On its home page late last week, Chowbotics announced that it would be closing its doors permanently, stating, “DoorDash has made the decision to cease operations of Chowbotics business.” It then goes on to provide some guidance for those partners who currently own Salley’s salad robot.

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Image credits: Chaubotics

Doordash confirmed the news in a statement provided to TechCrunch, noting:

We have made the decision to discontinue Chowbotics as of August 31, 2022. At DoorDash, we create an environment to create new products and set high standards to determine when to scale, continue or scale back investments. We are always looking for new ways to serve our merchants, exceeding ever higher consumer expectations and complementing our logistics infrastructure.

TC Sessions: Robotics 2022

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It appears that Chowbotics’ robotic kiosks just weren’t the right fit for a food delivery service. Doordash was on top of the pandemic-driven supply when it made the acquisition, and may have ultimately changed its mind about expanding its footprint. Unfortunately, Chowbotics was the victim of this decision, taken just 17 months after the deal was announced.

The first Chowbotics employees with salads prepared by Sally, a food service robot.

“Joining the DoorDash team opens up new opportunities for Chowbotics and the technology that this team has built over the past seven years,” Rick Wilmer told Chowbotics at the time. “As a leader in food delivery and on-demand logistics, DoorDash has unparalleled reach and expertise to help us develop and deploy our technologies more widely, so together we can make fresh, nutritious food available to more people.”

Following the acquisition, Wilmer was promoted to head of DoorDash’s robotics division. The parent company had ambitious plans to expand Sally’s footprint, but the late August schedule appears to mark the end of the eight-year-old robotics firm’s life. It’s no coincidence that the ChargePoint electric vehicle charging network announced this morning that it brought in Wilmer as chief account officer and chief operating officer.


Credit: techcrunch.com /

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