FooDoo Will Soon Test AI-Based 'Micro-Stores' in South LA

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

FooDoo Will Soon Test AI-Based 'Micro-Stores' in South LA
Courtesy of FooDoo

On average, Americans waste 108 billion pounds of food, which equates to 130 billion meals that is thrown away each year, according to Feeding America.

Los Angeles-based FooDoo is looking to reduce that waste in the Grab & Go market with its hardware kit technology that is installed in FooDoo’s vending refrigerators. The AI-based microstores, as FooDoo refers to them, can store up to 500 items and are set to launch in Los Angeles this September. In preparation, the company has teamed up with several ghost kitchens across the city that will cook ready-to-eat meals to be stored in FooDoo’s fridges.


Founded in 2021 by CEO Kirill Sizyumov and CPO Nikita Makarov, and CTO Ivan Gurkin, the company was bootstrapped by Sizyumov and now has a few angel investors that believe in FooDoo’s technology.

Once a dish is produced by the ghost kitchens and stocked, a radio-frequency identification (RFID) tag is attached and all the information about the meal, including the name, its ingredients and its expiration date, is linked to the tag. This information is sent to FooDoo’s data center and will allow the team to track the products where its scanners are installed.

Sizyumov said FooDoo has two issued patents, one is for the system for data transfer between server, and remote vending machine, and computing device of the user; and the second is for vending machines with RFID antennas. In addition to these, the startup has three more pending patents and are waiting to get those issued by this fall.

The hardware installed in each microstore consists of readers and scanners that will track the products and take stock of what is still inside. FooDoo’s technology allows the team to forecast user demands, and provide the ghost kitchens that provide meals with an accurate production plan for the next week.

“We want to make an impact,” Makarov said. “We want to provide people with much more food at high quality, but for the minimum price.”

With 7.7% of Americans still working at home, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics survey, Makarov said the company is targeting multifamily buildings which will give people the opportunity to have a fresh meal in just a few minutes. It will cost $100 a month to have FooDoo’s microstores at these facilities. Instead of waiting for your Postmates or GrubHub delivery to arrive, tenants can walk to the microstore and purchase a meal of their choice.

“During the work week, [many people] don't have an additional hour or two to wait for the delivery app,” Makarov told dot.LA. “So we are a good alternative.”

As soon as a microstore is installed, residents or any guests that want to make a purchase must download the FooDoo app, which will be available for free in the Google Play and Apple Store, where customers must link their form of payment. The app on your phone will act as a key that can unlock the sliding door and give access to the meals. Once an item has been taken, the app will automatically charge the user based on the preferred payment method they linked.

While many food-tech startups have popped up like those selling expiring food at a discounted rate, Makarov said that these companies are working with the consequences of overproduction, whereas FooDoo is trying to tackle it from the very start, which is in production planning.

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What Tesla's Trucking Feat Means for Natural Gas Vehicles in California

David Shultz

David Shultz reports on clean technology and electric vehicles, among other industries, for dot.LA. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside, Nautilus and many other publications.

What Tesla's Trucking Feat Means for Natural Gas Vehicles in California
Image from Tesla

Last month, when dot.LA toured the Hexagon Purus facility in Ontario, California, multiple employees bemoaned the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) ruling on renewable natural gas (RNG) as a hindrance to decarbonizing trucking-haul trucking. They argued that keeping RNG classified as a “near-zero emission” fuel prevented companies using financial incentives like the Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project, which, as the name suggests, is only available to true zero-emission trucks. The effect, they said, was that the agency was missing an opportunity to accelerate the state’s transition away from diesel.

But over the weekend, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to announce that the EV company’s battery powered class 8 semi-truck had completed a 500-mile trip fully loaded (to the tune of 81,000 lbs). It now appears CARB’s refusal to classify renewable natural gas (RNG) as a zero-emission fuel source was ultimately the right decision.

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Hoopla’s Deron Quon on Keeping Perspective as a Founder

Minnie Ingersoll
Minnie Ingersoll is a partner at TenOneTen and host of the LA Venture podcast. Prior to TenOneTen, Minnie was the COO and co-founder of $100M+ Shift.com, an online marketplace for used cars. Minnie started her career as an early product manager at Google. Minnie studied Computer Science at Stanford and has an MBA from HBS. She recently moved back to L.A. after 20+ years in the Bay Area and is excited to be a part of the growing tech ecosystem of Southern California. In her space time, Minnie surfs baby waves and raises baby people.
Hoopla’s Deron Quon
Image courtesy of Deron Quon.

On this episode of the L.A. Venture podcast, serial founder and angel investor Deron Quon discusses the human side of entrepreneurship and how a founder’s ethos can impact company culture.

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