Meet the Innovators: Piestro’s Automated Pizzeria
StartEngine’s Strategic Advisor Kevin O’Leary (aka “Mr. Wonderful”) regularly sits down with companies on our platform in a series we call “Meet the Innovators.” In these conversations, Mr. Wonderful talks to founders about their startups and their experience raising capital on StartEngine.
This time, Mr. Wonderful spoke to Piestro CEO Massimo Noja De Marco about the company’s Regulation A+ campaign on StartEngine and the potential for people to access pizza at the touch of a button.
Piestro has built a fully-automated pizzeria that can make artisanal-style pizza in three minutes or less. “We have developed this machine that looks like a vending machine but in reality is a very sophisticated piece of technology,” said Massimo.
You can watch their conversation, or read the recap below.
Baked-In Partnership Opportunities
Piestro’s machine is highly customizable, allowing new pizza recipes to be programmed in as necessary. “[We can] control every part of the machine at any given time remotely, so that any of the pizza brands that we go into partnership with are able to produce all of their regional recipes,” explained Massimo.
He went on to add that if Mr. Wonderful had a hypothetical pizza brand and was looking to expand its reach, adding a new location may cost up to $1 million or $1.5 million. “Now [Mr. Wonderful] can take a ‘Kevin pizza’ powered by Piestro — which is our white-label machine — and have five or 10 of these machines right around an area where he has his own restaurant,” said Massimo.
It would be the brick-and-mortar location’s job to prep and supply the ingredients to the Piestro machines. Refilling the machines takes less than half an hour, according to Massimo. Massimo explained that this process would allow for a pizza brand to expand their business quickly and “for one tenth of the expense.”
Everybody Understands Pizza
Piestro has already raised over $2 million on StartEngine. The startup’s first Reg CF campaign raised $1.05 million in 2020, and a new Reg A+ raise is currently underway. “There’s a lot of interest,” Massimo says. “I’ve been in this business my whole entire life, and I love this model. I’ve had people that work with me in restaurants … and they’re bartenders, and they’re waiters, and they understand why this will work, and they all put money in it.”
Massimo continued, “that’s the beauty of crowdfunding, right?”
Mr. Wonderful agreed, and added that Piestro is a particularly good fit for the crowdfunding model, “because everybody understands pizza!”
Mr. Wonderful wondered what the cost of production was for a Piestro machine. Massimo estimated that it would cost about $45,000 to make a machine. “We’ll be selling at around $75,000,” Massimo explained.
Piestro also hopes to attract brand partnerships by allowing them to lease Piestro’s white-label machine in a SaaS (Software as a Service) model, where they pay around $3000 per month.
“When people start seeing this thing actually working, I think it’s a feature in a store that people will actually want to watch,” said Mr. Wonderful. “It’s very interesting.”
Massimo agreed, pointing out that Piestro machines have a big window through which customers can watch their pizza being made. “They can pick their own ingredients and say, ‘oh wow, those are the ingredients that I picked’ and watch all their ingredients fall on their pizza,” said Massimo.
Mr. Wonderful asked whether someone needs to man the machine while it operates. “It’s completely independent,” replied Massimo. Piestro machines just need to be refilled, he explained. “It’s remote monitored, so if the refrigerator starts acting up or something, there’s an alert that’s sent out, but the machine is fully independent.”
Mr. Wonderful was impressed, pointing out that existing pizza vending machines use a method where they reheat frozen pizzas, while Piestro uses fresh ingredients. Massimo added that existing machines only have a few different options to choose from, whereas Piestro allows consumers to customize their pie.
What’s more, the automation doesn’t end there. Piestro has a partnership with Kiwibot, the robot delivery service, and so in locations with Kiwibot, the robot will pick up the pizza and deliver it to the customer. “Amazing,” said Mr. Wonderful.
Help Yourself to a Slice
To conclude, Massimo said that there’s a lot of interest in Piestro at the moment, with over 5,000 pre-orders on the machine. “It’s pretty exciting.”
(Editor’s note: Piestro provided StartEngine with commercial agreements indicating intent to purchase at least 4,100 units).
Mr. Wonderful congratulated Massimo on Piestro’s success thus far and said he’d follow along for their fundraising journey. “I’ll send you a pizza as soon as it’s ready,” Massimo said. Mr. Wonderful replied, “Let me know when one’s in Miami! I want to go look at it.”
To learn more about Piestro and invest, click here.
Piestro is conducting a Reg A+ offering made available through StartEngine Primary, LLC. This investment is speculative, illiquid, and involves a high degree of risk, including the possible loss of your entire investment. To learn more about Piestro, please view their offering circular and risks related to their offering.
This testimonial may not be representative of the experience of other customers. This testimonial is no guarantee of future performance or success. Kevin O’Leary is a paid spokesperson for StartEngine. View the details here: https://www.startengine.com/17b