Acacia Research Corporation announced today that it has made an investment in Miso Robotics, an innovative leader in robotics and artificial intelligence solutions, as part of Miso Robotics’ closing of a $3.1 million round of funding.
Miso Robotics will use the funding to deliver “Flippy”, an adaptable AI-driven robotic kitchen assistant that will work alongside kitchen staff to improve operational efficiency for the restaurant industry. Acacia’s investment in Miso Robotics represents Acacia’s second investment in companies seeking to transform the marketplace through Artificial Intelligence.
Acacia also announced it has entered into an IP services agreement with Miso Robotics to help Miso drive AI-based solutions for the entire restaurant industry. Acacia Research President Rob Stewart commented, “Miso has a talented team of industry veterans and we are pleased to partner with them to help them achieve their IP objectives. We believe their category-leading AI technology makes them well positioned to take advantage of the considerable market opportunity in the restaurant industry."
With “Flippy” as the initial solution for the kitchen workplace, Miso intends to transform the restaurant industry. Commenting on the funding, David Zito, CEO of Miso Robotics stated, “we intend to use the capital infusion to continue to grow our team of roboticists and AI experts, deepen our collaborative ties with the Caltech community and deliver our adaptable AI-solutions for our first restaurant customers.” Miso Robotics plans to roll out its AI-driven robotic kitchen assistant in early 2018 to CaliBurger, its first customer, with the expectation of future expansion to CaliBurger restaurants worldwide.
Miso Robotics was founded by John Miller and David Zito to address the inefficiencies in the restaurant industry by providing robotics and AI-driven solutions to perform common food preparation tasks. Both Mr. Miller and Mr. Zito are serial entrepreneurs with a proven history of success.
In 2004, John Miller was the second employee at Arrowhead (Nasdaq: ARWR), where he was responsible for Arrowhead’s subsidiary developing flexible electronic devices. In 2011, after the sale of Arrowhead’s flexible electronics subsidiary, Miller founded Cali Group, which comprises CaliBurger, a global restaurant chain, and has ownership stakes in various technology companies using new technologies to transform the restaurant and retail industries. As Chairman of Cali Group, Miller serves on the boards of the following Cali Group companies: Super League Gaming, FunWall, PopPacks, and Miso Robotics. Miller graduated from Stanford Law School and is an author of The Handbook of Nanotechnology Business, Policy, and Intellectual Property Law as well as various other publications related to nanomaterials and flexible electronics.
David Zito is a Caltech engineering graduate, a 20-year technology startup veteran, and a passionate entrepreneur who is driven to develop innovative products that improve the daily life of individuals. Zito has helped start or scale disruptive technology companies with a track record of successful exits, including: Goto/Overture bought by Yahoo!, Socialvibe/TrueX Media acquired by Fox Media, Cramster, acquired by Chegg, and PayMyBills.com, now a service of Quicken. Zito is also credited as one of the inventors of the flameless candle, which is now more than a $1 Billion category worldwide.