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Investing in the Future: Burger-Flipping Robots?

By Rachel Warren and Toby Bordelon – Dec 10, 2021 at 2:49PM

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There are many ways investors can get into the artificial intelligence space.

The investment landscape is constantly changing and bursting with new opportunities. Soon, that could include burger-flipping robots. Yes, you read that right. In this segment of Backstage Pass, recorded on Nov. 19, Motley Fool contributors Toby Bordelon and Rachel Warren discuss an innovative company called Miso Robotics that could soon change the way you order your fast-food burgers.

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Toby Bordelon: Pilar asked about Miso Robotics. This is fascinating. This is a company that does automated burger flipping robots, also frying robots. They have a product called the Sippy which prepares and does beverages automatically. You can almost automate your whole fast food restaurant with their, assuming you're doing burgers. The Flippy too is there, their burger flipping robot. Flippy, which was launched earlier this month, 2.0.

Apparently is it's a subscription based thing because of course, of course, it is. Everything is a subscription now. Burger flipping as-a-service is I guess it's a thing. This cost about $3,000 a month. If you're assuming you're paying someone at $15 an hour and you assume a 40-hour work week, 160 hours a month, you get to about $2,400.

You say, well that's cheaper but not really if you think about taxes and benefits, you're going to exceed that $3,000 number pretty easily. That's assuming that the human is as efficient as the robot, which I don't think is the case. I think this has probably got more output than your normal human. You still need people to operate it, it's not totally a replacement, but it makes things more efficient. It seems like a valid price-point for some people.

They've been doing some crowdsourced financing. In the original Flippy, they went through a platform called SeedInvest to sell some equity. They did that recently, they sold, again, when they were pushing Flippy 2.0 out there. As you can find in here, they did another crowd funding campaign. Basically, they have about 11,000 shareholders, about $40 million in equity that they have crowdfunded or raised through crowdfunding. This is private stuff, it's not for the public markets. It does have the same protection that's not a registered security.

Assuming they're going through the proper channels and getting all the exemptions that they need to do this. I don't know if it's limited to credit investors or they have some other exemptions they're fitting into. It's interesting to see that. Rachel, this reminds me of what we talked about earlier on The M&A Show, the DAO stuff. The DAOs.

Rachel Warren: Oh, yeah.

Toby Bordelon: Which theoretically could be another mechanism for crowdsourcing stuff. It doesn't get you around the security law issues. When we had the Constitution thing, they were very clear that this is not ownership.

This is just a right to cast an advisory vote on some things so that it was not a security, right?

Rachel Warren: Yep.

Toby Bordelon: Honestly, these things, DAOs are no different than a corporation. It's just less regulated, which may or may not be an issue, so you have to think about that. But this is just the idea of people getting together for a community effort, a corporate effort to accomplish a goal.

Raise money as a group to do more than you could by yourself. But there's a lot of excitement. There's a lot of excitement about what these new systems could be used for. There's a lot of excitement in the private markets as we're seeing with Miso here to raise money before you go public.

I think maybe you look five, 10 years down the road of the universe of investing may be changing substantially, and maybe we're going to see more of this. We're starting to see some loosening a little bit in the real estate area for other crowdsource, crowd finance deals.

Keep an eye on this. I think investing is democratizing even more and more, which is very exciting. I think hopefully, in the next couple of years, there'll be more opportunities for investors like us, like our viewers to get involved in some of these pre-IPO stuff like Miso Robotics is doing here. It's out there. It's hard to find and I would love us to get to a point where it's easier to find.

Rachel Warren: Yeah, I agree.

Toby Bordelon: But still in a controlled way where you don't get taken advantage of. That's the balance you've got to strike with this stuff.

Rachel Warren: I feel like in some ways some of these, like the DAOs we were talking about earlier, I feel like it's the people pushing back against big business in some way of like we can accomplish something if we all work together.

It's interesting. Obviously, there's some regulatory concerns. There's some things that will have to be ironed out if it really takes off in the future. But I think it's interesting.

It's the same concept of all the retail investors that got on Reddit and worked together, and affected all these huge changes in the market. Basically, like, hey, Wall Street, we have power. [laughs] I think it's that same attitude. I think it's interesting. I'm curious to watch where this all goes.

Toby Bordelon: It is. We share that whole idea of we can do something more together. That was the whole point of the original corporations started 400 or 500 years ago. [laughs] Maybe where we're just doing a little differently with technology now, and maybe there is a sense that the current corporate form doesn't serve the needs of everyone the way it could.

Maybe we can take a look at that and see what we can do to tweak that. Maybe using some of these new technologies and new formats to integrate into that. I'm very hopeful with all what's going on.

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