This start-up makes use of laptop imaginative and prescient to get your fast-food order made precisely

An employee places a drink order with a customer in the drive-through of a Starbucks coffee shop in Rodeo, California.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Restaurant tech startup Agot AI has closed a $ 10 million financing round that will help the company accomplish its mission to improve the accuracy of fast food orders.

The start-up installs overhead cameras in restaurant kitchens and uses computer vision to check – similar to autonomous vehicles – whether the employees are preparing the orders correctly. The technology is designed to improve work efficiency and reduce customer waiting times.

Agricultural investment firm Continental Grain, which recently bought poultry giant Sanderson Farms with Cargill, led the startup’s seed funding round. The Kitchen Fund – which is invested in Sweetgreen, Cava, and Gregorys Coffee – and Grit Ventures also participated.

According to Pitchbook, Agot raised just $ 50,000 during its previous funding round in May 2020.

“We are excited to help the Agot team bring their computer vision solution to market, increase work efficiency, improve off-premise operations and provide real-time analytics to demanding QSR operators,” said Continental Grain in a statement to CNBC.

Order accuracy can have a profound impact on consumer willingness to return to a restaurant and the overall experience. The American Customer Satisfaction Index’s annual consumer survey found that fast food restaurant orders were accurate 84% of the time in 2021, which was less than the previous year.

Agot co-founder and CEO Evan DeSantola said the technology can detect over 85% of order errors and alert them to these issues before staff serve food to customers.

“We see that all over the [quick-service restaurant] Order accuracy in the industry is becoming a growing concern as a result of the shift to drive-through, “said DeSantola.” What was once a minor pain point if accuracy rates haven’t gotten much better is now a much bigger pain point. “

Drive-through orders increased prior to the pandemic, but the health crisis resulted in many consumers switching to this ordering method due to closed dining rooms, convenience and safety concerns. In December, drive-through transactions were up 22% year over year, according to the NPD Group. SeeLevel HX’s annual drive-thru study found that average times at 10 fast food chains slowed by almost half a minute over the past year.

DeSantola and his co-founder, Alex Litzenberger, who serves as the company’s chief technology officer, met while studying computer science at Carnegie Mellon University. You founded the company 2½ years ago after experiencing long waiting times and incorrect orders yourself. The founder’s alma mater also took part in the seed round.

“At Agot, we knew it wasn’t a point solution,” said Greg Golkin, managing partner of the Kitchen Fund. “It’s a platform that is being built and order accuracy is just the first application. Computer vision won’t stop there. “

Golkin also said that Agot was furthest ahead of other startups exploring similar computer vision solutions in restaurant technology. According to its founders, Agot has received several takeover bids that it has declined.

DeSantola said the typical Agot customer has at least 2,000 restaurant locations. However, he declined to share the names of current restaurant customers, citing strict nondisclosure agreements.

Agot plans to use the cash from the latest round of funding to expand its product and engineering teams and expand its reach for both existing customers and adding new chains to its roster.

Don’t Waste Your Cash: Laptop Chip Scarcity

Posted: Feb 17, 2021 / 10:41 PM EST
Updated: February 17, 2021 / 10:41 PM EST

Remember how Sony PlayStations weren’t to be found during the holidays but should be plentiful by now?

That did not happen, and the main problem causing these bottlenecks is now other bottlenecks as well.

Can’t find a PS5 or new Xbox? Sony now blames a massive global chip shortage.

No, not casino or potato chips, but computer chips.

According to CNBC, a shortage of semiconductor chips is slowing the production of all types of electronics, even automobiles.

GM, Ford, Honda and Fiat Chrysler are reported to be slowing production of some models because they cannot get computer chips for their onboard displays and other electronics.

Of the major automakers, only Toyota says it has not yet been affected as it has stocked up on chips in advance.

According to CNBC, an unexpected surge in electronics sales last summer caused its suppliers to run out. Consumers bought laptops and desktops, new phones, big screen televisions and game consoles.

Nobody foresaw the pandemic, but this really stinks.

Sony says it won’t be able to ramp up PlayStation production until the chip shortage subsides, and the hunt continues.