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Zume Pizza gets mega funding, but is its growth slowing?

2 weeks ago by Jared Russo in IPO, Startups

Zume Pizza Inc. ($ZUMEPIZZA) is the latest potential unicorn to crop up out of California. The San Francisco-based startup took in cash from SoftBank, making Zume a $4 billion dollar company.

Zume says its pizza delivery will be powered by robots, specifically AI technology, to deliver pizzas in a faster and more efficient manner. Your food can be made en route to your residence, reducing delivery time, as well as the need for costly and cumbersome chef gear.

All of this unicorn talk is leading to one major trend in the data: there's almost a hiring freeze going on, as Zume probably is reassessing its future outlook and headcount. In a full year, as Zume's profile grew, it's employee count on LinkedIn fell by almost 50%. 

Normally, having so few people would be fine, as long as you're looking to replace that talent and get off the ground running. From October 2018 to October 2019, job openings were up by 112%, but since Halloween, that cratered by 57%. 

You can see who Zume WAS hiring before it decided it didn't need more people. More folks who specialize in robots, yes. More people, not so much. 

We've written about the pizza delivery wars before: Pizza Hut's ($NYSE:YUM), Papa John's ($NASDAQ:PZZA), Blaze Pizza ($BLAZEPIZZA), and Domino's ($NYSE:DPZ) all have a slice of the market. But do any of them have an army of robots, a fleet willing to descend upon the masses? Or is it Zume's opportunity to squander?

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

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Jared Russo

Jared is an editor for Thinknum, and has been writing for more than a decade. He previously worked at AOL, Vice, Google, Dotdash, and Sirius XM.

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