Chipotle makes new investments in food tech startups

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Michael M. Santiago

Grilled Mexican Chipotle (NYSE: CMG) announced new strategic investments in Hyphen and Meati Foods through its $50 million Cultivate Next venture capital fund.

Hyphen is described as a restaurant platform designed to help restaurateurs, operators and chefs move their business advance by automating kitchen operations. The San Jose-based company believes that modern kitchens need to move faster without sacrificing quality, precision or hospitality. The company’s first product is an automated system that uses advanced robotics and a custom operating system to give busy kitchens a reliable and accurate way to place and fulfill orders.

“Chipotle’s investment in Hyphen will accelerate our hiring plans, allowing us to invest more in R&D, while providing the infrastructure needed to scale sustainably,” said Stephen Klein, CEO of Hyphen.

Meati Foods serves nutrient-dense whole food products made from mushroom root. The mushroom roots used in Meati products are grown indoors year round in an ultra-clean and pure environment that is not exposed to pollutants, pesticides, antibiotics or growth hormones. The products offered by Boulder-based Meati are said to be created in a way that protects the environment. Meati closed a $150 million Series C funding round that included other investors.

Chipotle’s Cultivate Next (CMG) venture capital fund was created to make early stage investments in strategically aligned startups that further the company’s mission to cultivate a better world and help accelerate aggressive growth plans from Chipotle.

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