Crown Digital — the subsidiary of homegrown retail tech startup Crown Technologies — has partnered with Stellar Lifestyle to bring robot baristas serving gourmet coffee to 30 MRT stations across Singapore by the end of 2022.
Formerly called SMRT Commercial, Stellar Lifestyle specialises in property and retail management, media and digital advertising solutions.
Stellar Lifestyle is an existing investor of Crown Digital, participating in its pre-Series A fundraising round.
This newly-inked collaboration is a key part of Stellar Lifestyle’s plans to enhance lifestyle experiences through innovation and the use of technology in the public transport network spaces and beyond.
“We plan to enhance commuters’ experience by enlivening and transforming Singapore’s public transport network spaces with innovative and new-to-network concepts. ELLA is an example of the kind of lifestyle concepts we are actively looking for at MRT stations across the island,” said Tony Heng, president of Stellar Lifestyle.
You can soon order coffee from a robot barista
Founded in 2018 by former wealth manager and coffee enthusiast Keith Tan, Crown Digital is the company that conceptualised and created ELLA, Singapore’s first robotic barista.
With a retail footprint of less than five square metres, ELLA has a safe, cashless and contactless interface, and is able to serve up to 200 cups of gourmet coffee per hour to commuters.
Commuters can also order their beverages ahead of time via the Crown Digital app and collect the drinks immediately upon arrival at the MRT station.
ELLA’s deployment at the 30 MRT stations is Crown Digital’s second collaboration in a rail network.
In December 2020, Crown Digital secured a major strategic cross-border investment with East Japan Railway Company (JRE), in which ELLA signed an agreement to deploy ELLA for test marketing at JR East’s train stations in Japan.
This collaboration also brought the company to an initial valuation of S$33 million.
“I am particularly proud to be working with Stellar Lifestyle on a second commuter-focused partnership that validates our larger business and vision, bringing high-quality coffee to Singaporeans on the go,” said Keith Tan, CEO of Crown Digital.
“With this strategic investment, Crown Digital has a target addressable market of 1.4 million ridership daily right here in Singapore. We are working to commercialise this unique solution globally and employ high-tech talent locally.”
Featured Image Credit: Crown Digital