Kitchen robotics startup Karakuri is to wind down after failing to secure fresh funding.

The London company, which has raised £13.5 million and is backed by supermarket Ocado – it owns almost 20% of the business – has appointed RSM as an administrator.

It does not intend to find a rescue deal following the collapse of talks with US-based food-service equipment manufacturer Henny Penny.

Karakuri has developed a robotic arm for preparing sushi dishes, while an automated chip fryer was trialled by Nando’s in March.

It is expected that 30 jobs will be lost.

The company stated: “After extensive negotiations with potential investors and acquirers to explore all possible options for the business, we’re sorry to report that Karakuri has been unable to secure the funding required to continue our developments and bring our products to market.

“We’d like to thank all of those who have supported us on our journey, our investors, customers, suppliers, and most importantly our incredible team.

“Our priority is now to help the team members find new roles. We’ll publish a list of the talented people who make up Karakuri and their skills via LinkedIn shortly.”

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CEO Barney Wragg wrote on LinkedIn: “It’s with a very heavy heart that I have to report that our journey at Karakuri is coming to an end.

“For the past five years, we’ve developed and deployed robotics for the QSR industry. We’ve survived many challenges, including the pandemic and our bank (Silicon Valley Bank) going bust, but sadly we’ve been unable to find the funding we need to move to the next level.

“Most of all I’d like to thank the incredible team we’ve built. They’ve stayed dedicated to the challenge and built incredible technologies in the face of abject uncertainty.

“It’s incumbent on me to help these great people find new roles, spread their wings, and share their talents with others. 

“Please feel free to reach out to anybody you think you need or could help find new roles. I’m also on hand to help in any way I can.”

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