Piestro Equity Crowdfunded More Than $5 Million

More than 2,100 investors ponied up for a slice of the pizza robot company.

Robot pizza company Piestro concluded its second equity crowdfunding campaign yesterday, and has now raised more than $5 million from 2,100 investors on the StartEngine platform.

The company said its campaign was oversubscribed and that it would “likely be able to accept additional funds as investments clear,” encouraging people to join the waitlist.

Equity crowdfunding is popular mechanism among food robot startups. Blendid (which recently raised $2 million), Kiwibot, Small Robot Company have all run campaigns, as do all of Piestro’s fellow Wavemaker Labs startups like Bobacino, Miso Robotics and Future Acres.

Fans of equity crowdfunding say it not only allows startups to raise money without the pressures that come with traditional VC investment, but it is also an effective marketing tool. Piestro, for instance, now has a small army of 2,100 acolytes that won’t just spread the word, but are probably also potential franchisees and venue operators that could increase Piestro sales.

But as Covahne Michaels, Blendid’s VP of Marketing explained to me recently on the OttOmate podcast (paid subscription required), equity crowdfunding ain’t cheap. You actually have to spend a lot of money to raise awareness about your campaign and generate a ton of content like webinars and Q&As for potential investors.

Piestro’s work raising awareness for its crowdfunding campaign was probably made a little easier when it announced a big co-branding deal with the 800 Degrees pizza chain in August. That deal will see 3,600 Piestro units deployed over the next five years.

To find out more about Piestro and how it went about crowdfunding, check out my recent podcast interview with company CEO Massimo Noja De Marco below.

Scoop: Piestro Planning Mobile "Pizza-as-a-Service"
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