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Crown Digital and East Japan Railway Company Collaborate toAutomate F&B Retail in Japan

Singapore startup Crown Digital reinvents the commuter coffee experience in Japan with Cutting-edge Robotic Technology

TOKYO, 8 December 2021 – Crown Digital, Singaporean full-stack startup food tech company, has proven that technology can re-invent user experiences in truly unprecedented ways. A collaboration with East Japan Railway (JR East) brings Crown Digital’s Singaporean invention, ELLA the robot barista, to a new international market.

From 8 December 2021 until 28 February 2022, ELLA is serving quick and efficient cups of coffee to time-pressed commuters at Tokyo and Yokohama Stations as a part of a test marketing collaboration. Commuters will be able to make e-payments at the ELLA kiosks via Suica, prepaid IC cards issued by JR East for train commutes. Present to launch the first ELLA in Tokyo were

Crown Digital CEO and Founder Keith Tan, Singapore Ambassador to Japan Peter Tan and representatives from Enterprise Singapore. Keith Tan, CEO and Founder of Crown Digital, said, “It’s a proud moment for us to launch ELLA to our first international market – Japan. We are delighted to be partnering with East Japan Railway and to be the first foreign company to integrate the Japanese SUICA payment system into our offering. We look forward to bringing our premium and convenient coffee experience to Japanese commuters.”

His Excellency Peter Tan, Ambassador of Singapore to Japan, shared, "Crown Digital’s ELLA had caught the attention of many at the ASEAN Summit in 2018 with its combination of robotics innovation and high-quality coffee. I am glad to welcome ELLA’s arrival in Japan through Crown Digital’s collaboration with JR East train stations. I wish Crown Digital every success for its partnership with JR East and look forward to more co-innovation partnerships between Japanese corporates and Singapore enterprises.”

A Singapore Innovation Ideal for Japan

As a contactless, fully autonomous coffee kiosk, ELLA will be able to serve up to 200 cups of gourmet coffee per hour to commuters while occupying a retail footprint under five square metres. ELLA represents a complete ecosystem, from the transparent OLED-clad kiosk to an automated ordering system, mobile app, and e-wallet. The coffee machine used in ELLA is from Eversys distributed by De’Longhi Japan. The state-of-the-art transparent OLED screen lets coffee drinkers watch ELLA brew freshly roasted beans and milk to prepare premium coffee while enjoying engaging content.

ELLA offers a safe, cashless and contactless option for consumers. Consumers can order via the ELLA app on their mobile phones without direct contact with ELLA’s user interface and retrieve coffees via a designated “pigeonhole” that swivels 180 degrees to open for collection, resulting in minimal touchpoints at the kiosk.

Coming to a Station Near You

In January 2022, through a collaboration with Stellar Lifestyle by SMRT, the first ELLA kiosk will be launched at a key MRT station in Singapore followed launch across additional 29 MRT stations in 2022.

On this, Tan adds, “The Crown Digital journey began with the goal of delivering a gourmet experience to the world’s growing community of grab-and-go commuters. As the trend towards contactless retail in this post-pandemic world accelerates and labour shortages worsen, ELLA will become increasingly relevant in evolving the retail landscape. We look forward to bringing ELLA to Singapore commuters soon, and to other major Asian transit hubs.”


ELLA’s deployment period in Japan: Wednesday, 8 December 2021 to Monday, 28 February 2022 Locations: JR Tokyo Station Underground Bank Suzuhiro Place and JR-Yokohama Station Chuo-Kita Ticket Gate Inside JRE MALL Café High-resolution images and ELLA’s menu in Japan are available via the Dropbox link.

About Crown Digital

Full-stack startup Crown Digital began with the goal of delivering a contactless coffee experience gourmet experience to the world’s growing community of grab-and-go commuters. Its creation, ELLA, the one of world’s first successful robot barista, humanised technology and demonstrated the potential of robotics and AI to re-invent the commuter lifestyle experience and re-energize urban retail. As ELLA deploys across major Asian transit hubs and retail locations, Crown Digital brings its expertise and insights to find new ways to create social value through robotics. The company strives to re-imagine and re-invent consumer-facing robotics to become the leading inventor, operator, and distributor of future-ready solutions.

De’Longhi Japan K.K.

De’Longhi Group is one of the world’s leading players in the small domestic appliance sector dedicated to the world of coffee, cooking, air conditioning and home care. Espresso coffee machines for domestic and professional use are the core of the Group's strategy. De’Longhi Japan is Japanese branch of De’Longhi Group. Eversys, De’Longhi’s professional full-automatic coffee machine sector, is one of brands which De’Longhi Japan deals with. “Eversys Cameo C’2m” is chosen for heart of Ella, the fantastic robotic ballista.


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