Barney and Raj is the CEO and co-founder of KarakuriA kitchen automation startup that aims to improve efficiency and reduce food waste in restaurants.
Founded in 2018, two main products are robotic arm that can serve customized dishes such as Asian dishes, and robotic fryers.
The company based in London raised 13.5 million pounds in funding It targets the canteen market and express service.
Wragg has a background in physics and music, having joined British microchip designer Arm in the 1990s when it was still a startup. He held positions at companies such as Universal, EMI, and AEG before returning to the startup world for his launch Karakuri with co-founder Brent Huberman.
In this week Founder at Five Q&AWragg explains why Covid is so difficult for bot companies, reflects on his time at Arm and uncovers technology he believes is doomed to fail.
1. What is the company’s growth story that impressed you the most?
Barney and Raj: I really liked my colleague at UK robotics company Automata, who started making a traditionally “non-robot” low cost robot for education and applications and has now switched to process automation for labs and clinical trials/research.
The pandemic and shutdown have been really hard for robotics companies, who need cross-functional teams working in a shared physical space to figure things out. The Automata team has been able to keep the momentum on lockdown while at the same time directing their business to support laboratories with Covid tests and drug trials – while continuing to find a path to impressive growth at the same time. very Wonderful.
2. Who is the most respected leader in your field of work?
BW: While I admire many people for many different reasons, former CEO of Arm, Robin Saxby, stands out. When I joined Arm, it was a small startup but a lot of its DNA, both technically and commercially, was good.
The company has grown rapidly and has become a world leader in the field of IP microprocessors. When Robin became CEO, he inherited a strong, capable and ambitious team, as well as some great technology. However, when I look back, I feel a greater appreciation for the fundamental work he has put in in terms of commercial focus, culture, and communications.
3. What is a fact about yourself that people might find surprising?
BW: two things:
1. I can’t play a musical instrument. After many years of working in and around music, everyone assumes I can play. I do not print. I have no musical talent at all. My only talent in music was the organization and strategy of how to develop a business or project.
2. I am good at shooting. As a child, I had surgeries on my hips and knees and couldn’t do “regular” sports. My mom dragged me to the shooting range to get me out of the house to do something. I loved it, and I’m so good at it!
4. What is the most promising emerging technology?
BW: I was amazed at working in traveling wave reactors. Fission reactors have risks, but they’re like cars versus planes. Cars are statistically more dangerous than planes, but plane crashes are more catastrophic, so we are irrationally afraid of them. It’s the same for fossil fuels versus nuclear power. The idea of reusing existing nuclear waste to produce a less harmful by-product and produce significant energy at the same time is very exciting.
The answer to the planet’s problems must be clean, cheap energy that enables us to reverse carbon pollution and solve the huge economic challenges facing the developing world.
5. What disruptive technology do you think is doomed to fail?
BW: Unregulated cryptocurrency. I think the underlying technology in cryptocurrencies is really interesting, but the lack of regulation leaves their markets very open to manipulation. Market manipulation can disenfranchise users, disapproval of technology or at least delay truly valuable publication.
Founded in Five – UKTN’s Q&A series with the entrepreneurs behind innovative UK tech startups, scaling, and unicorns – is published every Friday.
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