No pod this week, so a quick rant and onto a startup I’ve been trying to get on here for months now 🍕
Mark Zuckerberg and the Facebook overlords actually thought Instagram for kids was a good idea??? I mean, I get why. But, IG (social in general) is absolute rat poison².
Not to sound like an old man yelling at machines, but we really need to get a grip on social media. Despite some profound positive contributions — it’s still largely a runaway train that without proper internet literacy can be incredibly destructive.
As I tell my own parents and wife, social media is as George Costanza would yell, “Not good. Worlds are colliding! George is getting upset.”
Also, ask any parent of a pre-teen and you’d already know Zuck lost that battle long ago when Evan Spiegel told him to get lost… Snapchat for the W!
Ok, you get it… now, let’s dig into this week’s Pitch Review!
Every week I breakdown startup pitches with the added hook that you can invest whether you’re accredited or not (if you don't know what that means, click here).
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Piestro is a kiosk that cooks up fresh, on-demand pizzas.
Piestro is basically a 3D printer for artisanal pizza. Think Farmers Fridge meets Hot and Ready. There’s nothing not to like here — from a customer standpoint, it’s fresh pizza on the go. Done! You’re walking down the street and BAM! a 3D printer that can spin up a freshly prepared pizza in minutes. And, from a restaurant owner’s perspective, it cuts the cost of opening up a pizzeria in half.
Meet the Founder
Watch my full interview with Piestro Founder Massimo De Marco here.
Massimo De Marco, has 25+ years of hospitality operations experience. Prior to Piestro, Massimo was the co-founder of Kitchen United, a successful cloud kitchen company, which raised $50M in venture capital and was most recently valued at $140M. Prior to that, Massimo owned and operated PH+E, a boutique cross-border consulting firm focused on opening restaurants, hotels, and bars.
Massimo has spent his entire career in food and hospitality and comes from an Italian family deeply rooted in food, with a special love for pizza. Obviously, the latter doesn’t qualify him to run this business, but his experience with cloud kitchens (more on this later) and involvement with several other robotics startups in the Wavemaker portfolio does. My only hesitancy with Massimo would be his availability — but, I can say, once an operator has developed a mastery, time is less important than impact.
Backed by lead investor, Wavemaker Partners, a global Venture Capital fund with $550M+ AUM and Wavemaker Labs, a food automation focused venture studio
Signed commercial agreements valued at approximately $580M
A seasoned team of food and robotics experts made up of executives and founders from Miso Robotics, Kitchen United, SBE Entertainment Group, Graze Autonomous Mowers, and Wolfgang Puck
Pizza is the most popular food in the US at $46.3B. Would you believe me if I told you Dominos has outperformed Amazon over the past decade?? Crazy, right!? I love that Piestro is backed by Wavemaker, which has backed other startups I’ve featured. More importantly, they have a massive PO for 3,600 units, and offer several revenue levers — Piestro branded and white label. Currently, if you’re a massive existing brand, you can essentially white label the tech, custom tuned for your pizza specs and drastically reduce your real estate and labor costs. Similarly, as a small proprietor, you can do the same.
Terms & Takeaway
Invest in Piestro here 👉 Term Sheet
Security Type: Common Equity
Pre-Money Valuation: $12,000,000
Investment Goal: $5,000,000
Raised (as of publishing): $3,185,874
Minimum Investment: $1,000.00
Here's what I like: I absolutely love this!! I was an early supporter of Farmers Fridge and basically since I first saw Total Recall (the real one with Arnold), I’ve been waiting for the future of food. Piestro drastically reduces the overhead for upstart pizzerias, and is a logical evolution in the cloud kitchen space — which I personally think is going to dominate the restaurant industry for years to come.
Here's what I don't love: My only pushback to their model would be, I don’t see anyone buying the machines outright — too much upkeep and in the vending machine world, I have literally never seen a shop purchase it outright. That said, Piestro is already pivoting towards a lease and white label model, which enables demand to fund build and they can just absorb the upkeep and repurposing for their owned brand Piestros. Additionally, Massimo is very involved in other businesses so there has to be some concern with his ability to manage responsibilities — which is not to say he’s not up to the task!
Who should invest and why: If the 3,600 unit order comes to fruition, a $12M Value Cap is a fair price, if not, less so. Pre-pandemic, I can see people being resistant to “pizza printers”, and now, post-pandemic and cloud kitchens, I really think we as consumers have adapted and are ready for Piestro. If you see the appeal and recognize the value it brings to pizza makers and lovers alike, this is a no brainer investment.
As always, startup investing is super high risk, anything can happen.
Invest in Piestro here 👉 Term Sheet
Questions? DM me on Twitter @kitun