Los Angeles-based pizza-making robot truck manufacturer Stellar Pizza has raised $16.5m in a Series A funding round that was led by hip-hop icon Jay-Z’s Marcy Venture Partners (MVP ), reported several media outlets.

Stellar joins the MVP portfolio, which also includes Rihanna ’s Savage x Fenty clothing brand, reported Bloomberg.

The pizza truck company was established in 2019 by former SpaceX employees.

CEO Benson Tsai and partners Brian Langone and James Wahawisan plan to open the first robot pizza truck this autumn at the University of California Los Angeles, with later expansion to other university and college campuses

The robot truck can be operated by a single driver and comes with a producing capacity of about 420 custom 12-inch pizzas prior to reloading, Restaurant Business reported.

Customers can place their order through a mobile app, which gives the robot inside the truck the signal to assemble and bake pizzas from scratch.

When the pizzas are complete, a worker removes them from the oven to cut and place them into a box to serve.

The robot pizza truck is claimed to take less than five minutes to make a pizza.

According to Stellar, the robot truck has the potential to reduce real estate and labour costs.

Stellar aims to build a fleet of robot pizza trucks and create a national brand.

The company earlier raised a total of $9m from Root Ventures, Collaborative Fund and Crosslink Capital .

As technology evolves, restaurant operators are seeking automated models to increase revenue.

In June, Nala Robotics signed an agreement to deploy its autonomous chef, Pizzaiola, at the newest outlets of Slice Factory, a Chicago-based Italian pizza restaurant chain. Pizzaiola can prepare pizza, burgers, pasta and wings. 

In July, Compass Group Canada and food tech company SJW Robotics entered a partnership for piloting an autonomous kitchen technology that can serve meals.

In September, Pizza Hut Canada teamed up with Serve Robotics to launch a door-to-door robot delivery service in Vancouver, British Columbia.