Stellar Pizza / Instagram

Former Elon Musk Engineers Seek Funds for Robotic Pizzeria

Stellar Pizza, which previously attracted financing from Jay-Z's venture capital firm, has launched a Wefunder campaign.

Stellar Pizza, a robot-powered mobile pizzeria founded by former engineers from Elon Musk’s SpaceX, has kicked off an equity crowdfunding campaign to attract new investors, the company recently announced.

Stellar Pizza launched a community round on Wefunder—the largest crowdfunding investment platform that offers SEC regulated fundraising—to “provide access to new investors,” a press release states. In October 2022, the company announced a $16.5 million Series A financing round led by Jay-Z’s venture capital firm, Marcy Venture Partners.

According to the press release, Stellar Pizza previously raised over $25 million in Series A and Seed funding, backed by Marcy Venture Partners, Root Ventures, Crosslink Capital and Collaborative Fund.

Related: Why pizza robots look to be crucial tools for the future

For the Wefunder campaign, announced on November 16, the company had raised $136,822 by 7 p.m. C.T. that day. A minimum investment of $100 is required.

“The most common question I have gotten the last year is, how can I invest?” Benson Tsai, Stellar Pizza’s CEO, said in the press release. “For a long time, early-stage start-up investing has not been accessible to the public, and I’m excited to change that today. At Stellar Pizza, we believe pizza is for everyone and we should all be able to own a slice of the pie!”

Based in Hawthorne, California, Stellar Pizza was founded in 2019 by Tsai, Brian Langone and James Wahawisan, all former SpaceX engineers. Stellar Pizza used cutting-edge technology and advanced robotics to create an automated, touchless machine that bakes pizza from scratch, including fresh toppings, in under five minutes. With the machine itself housed in a food truck, Stellar Pizza can produce a pie every 45 seconds, the company says.

Stellar Pizza’s chef, Ted Cizma—who previously served as executive chef and director of culinary services at SpaceX—collaborated with pizza consultant Noel Brohner on the company’s recipes.

Stellar Pizza made appearances on the campus of the University of Southern California (USC) in October 2022, reported the Los Angeles Business Journal. It sold 12” cheese pizzas for just $7.95 due to its low labor and real-estate costs. The operation isn’t entirely robot-run; each truck—currently there are just two—requires two human employees to handle tasks that the robots can’t perform. After all, somebody’s gotta drive, hand out the pies and answer customers’ questions.

In mid-September, the company announced on Instagram that it was “taking a quick break” to “upgrade” its robots. That post also promised “some new features coming soon.” Its latest appearance promoted on Instagram was at the USC campus in early November. That post read, “Our robots have been upgraded, and we’re back in action!”