Blendid

Automated robotic, contactless, and AI-enabled food preparation for fresh healthy smoothies made on-demand

Analytics

Raised to Date: Raised: $3,895,675

Aggregate Commitments $

Platform

Dalmore Group

Start Date

06/10/2022

Close Date

06/10/2023

Min. Goal

$999

Max. Goal

$24,999,999

Min. Investment

$999

Security Type

Equity - Preferred

Funding Type

RegA+

Series

Series B

Price Per Share

$2.22

Pre-Money Valuation

$78,321,576

Rolling Commitments $

Status

Active

Reporting Date

11/27/2022

Days Remaining

195

% of Min. Goal

389,957%

% of Max. Goal

16%

Likelihood of Max
unlikely
Avg. Daily Raise

$22,916

# of Investors

117

Momentum
cold.svg
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Location

Sunnyvale, California

Industry

Food, Beverage, & Restaurants

Tech Sector

Foodtech

Distribution Model

B2B2C

Margin

Medium

Capital Intensity

High

Business Type

Growth

Blendid is raising funds through Reg A+ crowdfunding with Dalmore Group as the Broker-Dealer. The company makes robotic food automation solutions powered by artificial intelligence. The first product of Blendid is a robotic kiosk that makes healthy smoothies on demand and based on the taste and preferences of customers. Blendid already has kiosks deployed at select Walmart locations and plans to expand aggressively. Vipin Jain and Venkateswaran Ayalur founded Blendid in 2015. The current crowdfunding campaign has a maximum target of $24,999,999.40. The campaign proceeds will be used for research and development, sales and marketing, capital expenses, and general and administrative expenses.

Balance Sheet

Cash and Cash Equivalents

$3,745,059

Accounts and Notes Receivable

$202,366

Property, Plant and Equipment (PP&E)

$658,065

Total Assets

$5,330,893

Accounts Payable & Accrued Liabilities

$2,767,690

Long Term Debt

$2,255,568

Total Liabilities

$5,023,258

Total Stockholders' Equity

$307,635

Total Liabilities and Equity

$5,330,893

Statement of Comprehensive Income Information

Total Revenues

$276,270

Costs & Expenses Applicable to Rev

$190,339

Depreciation and Amortization

$-877,919

Net Income

$-3,801,169

Earnings Per Share - Basic

$-15.00

Earnings Per Share - Diluted

$-15.00

Auditor: IndigoSpire CPA Group, LLC
Financials as of: 06/10/2022
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Raise History

Offering Name Close Date Platform Valuation/Cap Total Raised Security Type Status Reg Type
Blendid 06/10/2023 Dalmore Group $78,321,576 $3,895,675 Equity - Preferred Active RegA+
Blendid 11/19/2021 StartEngine $56,927,498 $1,414,365 Equity - Common Funded RegCF
Blendid 09/24/2021 StartEngine $49,943,429 $2,000,065 Equity - Common Funded RegCF
Blendid 02/28/2021 Microventures $50,000,000 $460,051 Convertible Note Funded RegCF / RegD 506(c)
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Ratings KingsCrowd Startup Rating Methodology Article

Analyst Report Analyst Report Methodology Article

Synopsis

An estimated 78,000 food and beverage establishments have closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, showing how vulnerable the restaurant industry is to any sustained period of customer loss. A loss of dine-in customers left restaurants scrambling to stay afloat. This has left business operators wondering how they can survive when factors outside their control threaten their livelihood. 

For food and beverage establishments, the answer is clearly automation. Replacing human labor with around-the-clock robotics technology can insulate food and beverage service companies from unexpected health and economic shocks like those seen during COVID-19. Owners don’t have to balance the health of robots with the needs of the business, and labor shortages are less likely to be an issue.

Answering the call for automated solutions is Blendid, a beverage automation company that develops autonomous smoothie kiosks. Customers are able to order customized smoothies through the Blendid mobile app, which uses artificial intelligence to track user preferences and create unique smoothies for each customer. By automating the smoothie creation process, Blendid allows operators to run a business all day, every day. The company estimates that profits for operators using Blendid’s technology are between 20% and 40%, much higher than regular brick-and-mortar locations. Blendid currently has five locations throughout California and Georgia. While two of these locations are corporate-owned, Blendid’s main business model is licensing this technology out to established food brands and opening co-branded kiosks with brands like Jamba Juice. The company also plans to expand its technology to offer sandwiches, soups, and more.

Blendid’s current Dalmore Group raise has been rated a Deal to Watch by the KingsCrowd investment team.

Price

Blendid is raising capital via Crowd SAFE at a $78.3 million valuation cap. This is a 37% increase from the company’s November 2021 StartEngine round. In choosing this relatively small increase, Blendid can be more flexible in future rounds. If Blendid raised its valuation too drastically, the company would be forced to raise a new round at a lower valuation if things didn’t go well. By slightly increasing the valuation now, Blendid can continue fundraising at an attractive valuation to investors. While this round is giving previous investors very small paper gains, this incremental valuation approach will be better for investors in the long run.  

With a 2021 revenue of $276,270, Blendid’s $71.8 million valuation cap represents a valuation-to-revenue multiple of 283x. This is not surprising given that Blendid is a robotics company that has very high costs related to research and product development. While the $78.3 million valuation seems high for a startup, it is actually quite reasonable for a robotics company like Blendid that has a commercialized product and a partnership with debatably the largest brand in its market (Jamba Juice).

Market

Blendid operates in the $583.3 million North American food robotics market. This market is expected to reach $960 million by 2026, growing at a decent compound annual growth rate of 13.1%. Blendid’s current market opportunity is relatively small. Robotics hasn’t been fully embraced by the food industry yet. But once automated food service becomes more widespread, this market could grow dramatically. And because Blendid is one of the first movers in providing completely automated food and beverage delivery, the company stands to capture considerable market share very quickly.  

There are currently no other automated kiosks in the smoothie space. There are other robotics startups, particularly coming out of Wavemaker Labs, that are developing automated food kiosks for other types of foods. There’s Piestro, which makes pizza, and Bobacino, which makes boba tea. Therefore, once Blendid expands its product offerings to include new cuisines, it will face some light competition. However, given how young this industry is, Blendid will not face serious competition for a long time. All in all, the market opportunity is small and growing steadily. Without much competition, Blendid has a good chance of earning a large market share.

Team

Blendid is co-founded by Vipin Jain, who currently serves as the company’s CEO. He held leadership and technology roles at various companies for 14 years, including co-founder and vice president of engineering at Telseon IP Services. Jain then founded an e-commerce company that utilized data analytics called Retrevo Inc. Its website was acquired by Shopzilla, and its technology and team were acquired by Barnes & Noble NOOK Media. After the acquisition, Jain stayed on at Barnes & Noble in the NOOK Media division, where he served as vice president of sales, customer care, and partnerships, as well as vice president of product management, cloud, and commerce. He holds a Master of Science in physics and a Bachelor of Science in electrical and electronics engineering from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani.  

Blendid is also co-founded by Venki Ayalur, who serves as Blendid’s chief technology officer. Ayalur previously served as director and senior director of engineering at NOOK Media for four years and as director of engineering at Motorola Mobility for 14 years, where he worked on software development and machine learning. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Northwestern University and a Master of Science in computer science from Northern Illinois University. He also holds a Master of Science in engineering technology from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani.

Blendid’s third co-founder is Vijay Dodd, who serves as the company’s vice president of engineering. Dodd previously spent 17 years in technology product, management, and leadership roles. He then worked as senior director of engineering for seven years at NOOK Media. Dodd holds a Master of Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University, a Master of Technology in systems and controls from the Indian Institute of Technology, and a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from Bangalore University.  

Altogether, Blendid has a strong team with highly complementary skill sets. All three have held management positions at software and hardware companies, and one had a prior exit. The co-founders are well positioned to lead Blendid to profitability.  

Differentiators

Most food-based robotics are still in the research and development phase. It’s hard to find many fully autonomous, unmanned machines that are making fresh food and drinks to order. But Blendid already has five kiosks in operation with plans to open many more in 2022. Additionally, Blendid is the only company offering fully autonomous kiosks specifically for customizable smoothies.  

There are other companies that offer completely automated kiosks for other types of foods and beverages. For example, Bobacino offers boba tea and Piestro offers pizza. Blendid plans to apply its technology to salads and sandwiches, but it remains to be seen how the company’s current technology will apply to these new food groups. 

Blendid’s competitors also include more traditional smoothie businesses without robots, like Georgia-based restaurant franchise Tropical Smoothie Cafe. Like Blendid, Tropical Smoothie Cafe lets customers customize orders, and it already serves some of the foods Blendid hopes to offer in the future, including sandwiches and bowls. However, Blendid stands out through its use of robotics. Jamba Juice is another competitor, but Blendid turned the company into an ally through a strategic partnership.

Blendid utilizes three proprietary and patented systems: chefOS, foodOS, and Restaurant Management System (RMS). ChefOS allows operators to create new recipes using an engine assisted by artificial intelligence (AI). FoodOS is the core technology of the kiosk, using machine learning and AI to self-configure, calibrate, multitask, and perform error recovery. The RMS is a suite of software that allows operators to monitor and manage the inventory of kiosks. This broad range of technology is protected by three trademarks and six patents, and five more patents are pending. Blendid’s intellectual property is therefore highly defensible. Overall, Blendid stands out among its competitors. 

Performance

Blendid generated $276,270 in 2021, up from $64,119 in 2020. Considering that the company had only three locations in 2021, Blendid’s current revenue is strong. Blendid now has five locations in California and Georgia, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. The company will be announcing its plans for new locations in the coming weeks, and all indications point to 2022 being an inflection point for Blendid in terms of revenue and unit growth.  

Perhaps the most notable indicator of Blendid’s potential is its partnership with Jamba Juice. The company currently has four co-branded kiosks called “Jamba by Blendid.” Blendid has an agreement with Jamba Juice that sets minimum commitments from Jamba to purchase kiosks over multiple phases. The current phase 2 of the agreement indicates a commitment from Jamba to buy 10 kiosks. Phase 3 is a minimum of 30 kiosks. Phase 4 is a minimum of 100 kiosks, and phase 5 is a minimum of 400. While individual Jamba franchisees are not obligated to purchase Blendid kiosk units, Blendid CEO Vipin Jain told KingsCrowd that a full funnel of Jamba franchisees have shown serious interest in purchasing Blendid units. The parent company of Jamba (Focus Brands) is also an investor in Blendid.

Blendid also has kiosks in two Walmart locations, one of which is a Jamba by Blendid, with plans to expand upon this partnership in the coming months. In addition, Blendid has partnered with Sodexo, a French food services company for schools. This partnership has so far allowed Blendid to open a Jamba by Blendid location at Georgia College. Finally, Blendid has earned press mentions in publications such as The New York Times, Food Management, and Insider. As a whole, Blendid’s revenue has grown encouragingly, and Blendid’s partnerships seem primed to help the company expand in the future.

Risks

Given that the food robotics industry is in its infancy, Blendid is inherently riskier than most startup investments. Firstly, technology risk is significantly higher with robotics companies since the technology is so new. Blendid already has a commercially available product in its smoothie kiosks, which helps reduce a portion of that risk. The question now is whether the company’s current technology can be applied to new food groups — specifically sandwiches, soups, and bowls. In our conversation with CEO Vipin Jain, he said that Blendid’s technology is very modular and can be modified to work with different types of foods. In fact, Jain told us that smoothie creation is actually more complicated than other types of beverages due to the consistency and texture requirements. In comparison, using Blendid’s technology for more straightforward foods and beverages might prove easy. However, this still remains to be seen.

Secondly, funding risk is an important factor that disproportionately affects robotics companies due to high research and development costs. This is the reason that Blendid has a high valuation-to-revenue multiple. There is a chance that Blendid could run out of money before achieving scale. However, given the success of the company’s previous fundraising rounds, Blendid should have no issues continuing to raise money in the future.

Thirdly, there is a risk affiliated with the mass adoption and acceptance of robotic solutions by society. Given how new the technology is, it may take decades for robotics to replace human labor across industries, including food and beverages. As a result, the time horizon for an acquisition or liquidity event for Blendid could be much longer than the time horizon for other startups.  

Updates Since Last Round

The biggest change since Blendid’s previous StartEngine round in November 2021 is its valuation increase from $56.9 million to $78.3 million. Although this isn’t a large increase, the valuation still yields a high revenue-to-valuation multiple. Additionally, the company officially reported 2021 revenue of $276,270, an increase of 331% from 2020. This is a positive signal, especially since the company’s revenue previously decreased from $83,346 in 2019 to $64,119 in 2020. 

In the last round, the previous Form C recorded 23 full-time employees. Today, Blendid has 22 full-time employees and five part-time workers. This isn’t a particularly good or bad sign because the team grew but lost one full-time employee. Since the last round, the company secured a new partnership with Sodexo and has expanded further east with two new locations in Georgia. Two more patents were approved, and its trademark count increased from two to three, improving Blendid’s defensibility. Altogether, Blendid has achieved impressive milestones since its last raise.

Bearish Outlook

Robotics is extremely expensive and requires a major amount of capital to be put into product development and prototyping. While Blendid has already built and deployed its technology, it still operates in only one vertical: smoothies. If Blendid is going to become a $700 million company (which would be the minimum requirement for investors to get a 10x return), the company will need to successfully expand into other foods like bowls, soups, sandwiches, and more. Blendid’s current technology has not been iterated to support these new cuisines, so it still faces some technology risk.  

Finally, a concerning development in the world of robotics is the recent shutdown of Chowbotics, an automated salad business that was purchased by DoorDash in 2021. This shutdown reflects the immense challenges that robotics companies face in scaling and operating, even with the support of a major company like DoorDash. Given that Blendid plans to enter the salad space, the closure of Chowbotics is important for investors to note when considering the risks of this investment opportunity.

Bullish Outlook

There is no question that society is moving toward automation in many different sectors, including food and beverages. We may soon live in a world with food courts that are run entirely by robotic technology. Blendid intends to eventually reach a point where its kiosks can create a variety of in-demand foods, including sandwiches and salads. If it succeeds, it will be in a solid position to profit from the rise in robotic food service.

Robotics technology companies in 2022 have extremely high valuations and tend to be very slow to scale. Blendid, to its credit, is ahead of the curve with its technology and is the only automated smoothie company with active operating locations.

One of Blendid’s key advantages is its strong partnerships, specifically with Jamba Juice and Walmart. By licensing this product to Jamba franchisees, Blendid has essentially passed the capital expenditure costs on to the individual franchisees. As a result, each new location has high gross margins and high recurring revenue. Blendid has a plan to rapidly open more Jamba locations, and it intends to target other venues, including supermarkets, hospitals, health clubs, airports, and more. CEO Vipin Jain told KingsCrowd that Blendid is hoping to achieve profitability with this Series B round and will soon begin the process of testing and fine-tuning its technology to support other foods.  

And, perhaps most importantly, Blendid uses cutting-edge robotics technology to allow food operators to increase profits, with our estimates indicating that a Blendid location could break even in less than 18 months. This is remarkable for the food industry, where operators typically need to wait two to four years to break even. And the cost savings will allow Jamba Juice to effectively market the kiosks to potential franchisees. Additionally, with the closure of Chowbotics, Blendid now has less competition in the salad and bowl space. This leaves an opening for Blendid to capture this market uncontested if it can manage costs and grow sustainably. 

Executive Summary

Blendid is a robotics company that develops automated kiosks to serve customers fresh and customizable smoothies. The company has already deployed five kiosks across the country and is gearing up to begin iterating the technology to support new food groups like sandwiches, soups, and bowls. Given that Blendid is a robotics company, both the technology and funding risk is relatively high compared to other startups. 

However, Blendid has managed to commercialize food robotics technology in a way that no other company has been able to. As a result, the company has much lower technology risk than its competitors. Blendid’s revenue significantly increased from $64,119 in 2020 to $276,270 in 2021. As an early mover in the food robotics industry, it could capture a large share of the market. Additionally, the company is bolstered by strategic partnerships with Jamba Juice, Walmart, and Sodexo, which can help Blendid expand to more locations. Finally, Blendid has a strong founding team with impressive industry and leadership experience, and one of the co-founders has an exit under his belt. For these reasons, Blendid has been rated a Deal to Watch.

For questions regarding the KingsCrowd analyst report or ratings for this company, please reach out to support@kingscrowd.com.

Analysis written by Teddy Lyons, July 8, 2022.

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Blendid on Dalmore Group 2022
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Platform: Dalmore Group
Security Type: Equity - Preferred
Valuation: $78,321,576
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