Tag Archives: food

Chowly is raising $5.8 million to help restaurants manage on-demand delivery orders

Chowly , a point-of-sale system for restaurants, has raised nearly $4.7 million, according to an SEC filing . The company is targeting a total raise of $5.8 million. Chowly aims to help restaurants better manage the influx of delivery orders they receive from a variety of services, such as Grubhub, Delivery.com and Chownow. In May, Square launched a point-of-sale system for restaurants that integrates on-demand delivery platform Caviar. Down the road, Square said it envisions third-party applications from companies like Postmates, UberEats and DoorDash. Chowly had previously raised just $700,000 from MATH Venture Partners, Domenick Montanile and others. I’ve reached out to Chowly and will update this story if I hear back.

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A new $124 million for Brazil’s Movile proves that investors still see promise in Latin American tech

Brazil’s macroeconomic picture may be gloomy , but technology investors still see hope in the nation’s burgeoning technology sector — and a recent $124 million financing for the mobile conglomerate Movile is the latest proof that that the pace of investment isn’t slowing down. Brazil was already the hottest spot for technology investment throughout Latin America — with Sao Paulo drawing in the majority of the record-breaking $1 billion in financing that the region’s startups attracted in 2017. And with this latest funding for Movile, led by Naspers , that trend looks likely to continue. Indeed, Naspers investments in Movile (supplemented by co-investors like Innova, which participated in the most recent round) have been one of the driving forces sustaining the Brazilian startup community. In all, the South African technology media and investment conglomerate has invested $375 million into Movile over the course of several rounds that likely value the company at close to $1 billion. Another Brazilian tech company, the financial services giant Nubank, has raised around $528 million ( according to Crunchbase ) and is valued at roughly $2 billion, putting it squarely in the “unicorn club”, as the Latin American Venture Capital Association noted, earlier this year. Both chief executive Fabricio Bloisi and a spokesperson from Naspers declined to comment on Movile’s valuation. “ My dream is not to become a unicorn my dream is to become much bigger than that,” Bloisi said in an interview. Nubank and Movile are the two most recent privately held independent companies to achieve or approach unicorn status in Brazil, but they’re not alone in reaching or approaching the billion dollar threshold in Latin America. MercadoLibre was an early runaway success for the region (hailing from Argentina) and the ride hailing service 99Taxis was acquired by the Chinese ride-hailing behemoth Didi for a roughly $1 billion dollar valuation last year. All of this points to an appetite for Latin American tech that Movile is hoping it can seize upon with its new $124 million in financing. The company is looking to expand its food delivery business iFood , its payment company, Zoop , and its ticketing platform, Sympla . Both Movile and Naspers look to Chinese companies as their model and inspiration for growth, with Bloisi saying that he’s eyeing the eventual public offering for Meituan — the Chinese online retailer as the company to emulate in the market these days.

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Olio, the app that lets you share unwanted food items with your neighbours, picks up £6M Series A

Olio , the hyperlocal food sharing app that wants to help tackle the world’s food waste epidemic, has picked up $6 million in Series A funding. The U.K. startup offers a location-based app and website that lets you list and post a photo of unwanted food items to be shared with other people in the same neighbourhood. That is, food that you might otherwise throw away. The company, Olio co-founder and CEO Tessa Clarke told me in a call earlier this week, was born out of the idea that a bottom-up, community approach — driven by individual behaviour — is the most scalable way to cut down on the amount of food households typically waste. She says about a third of food production is thrown away and/or allowed to perish, which mostly ends up in landfill, and that food in the home represents about half of this. The startup helps businesses tackle the problem, too. Dubbed the “Food Waste Heroes Programme,” Olio is enabling companies, such as retailers or those operating events and corporate canteens, to utilise the Olio platform and community to become “zero food waste” organisations. This sees companies charged a fee and in return Olio will dispatch its thousands of volunteers, who have been vetted and are trained in food hygiene, to come to their stores or outlets and collect unwanted food items. The volunteers then photograph and list the items on the app and offer themselves up as hyperlocal collection points. Most items are made available for sharing and picked up/distributed in just a few hours. Clarke says the startup is also exploring the possibility of moving to a premium model, where the most active users of the platform pay for a subscription that gives them access to additional value-add features.

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FoodChéri expands beyond Paris with Seazon

There’s no lack of on-demand fresh meal services in Paris and its surrounding area. But what about the rest of France? FoodChéri has launched a new offering called Seazon to deliver fresh meals with no additives every week. Seazon is a subscription service that delivers anywhere in France. You decide how many meals per week you want (4, 6, 8 or 10), and you decide what you like. You also can filter options if you’re vegetarian or vegan. After that, you’ll start getting a weekly delivery from a refrigerated truck with all your meals. This could work particularly well for lunch at work. Maybe you don’t have time to cook lunch boxes or maybe you work in a company with few lunch options. Seazon offers the same meals as the ones you can find on FoodChéri. The company uses fresh ingredients and organic food as much as possible. When it comes to sourcing, the company works directly with local farmers.

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$15 AT&T WatchTV Streaming Service Goes Live – Ubergizmo

Ubergizmo $15 AT&T WatchTV Streaming Service Goes Live Ubergizmo AT&T recently announced a new standalone online TV streaming service called WatchTV. The service is cheaper than almost all of its competitors at just $15 per month and it's certainly cheaper than AT&T's existing DirecTV streaming service. WatchTV was ... and more »

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Get your ticket to the TechCrunch Summer Party at August Capital

We’re sentimental softies when it comes to tradition, and one of our favorites is the TechCrunch Summer Party at August Capital . This marks the thirteenth year of this Silicon Valley soiree, and we’d love to see you there. Tickets are released in batches, and the first round is available now on a first-come, first-served basis. They always sell out quickly, so buy your ticket today . The Summer Party is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy an evening of cocktails and conversation — and to celebrate the spirit of entrepreneurship with your peers on the patio and grounds of August Capital in Menlo Park. Of course, every TechCrunch party holds the potential for networking magic. You never know when you might meet the perfect future investor, acquirer, partner or co-founder. One legendary example: Our founder, Michael Arrington, used to hold these TechCrunch parties in his Atherton backyard, and it’s where Box founders Aaron Levie and Dylan Smith met one of their first investors, DFJ. Who knows? Come to the party and you just might start your own legend. Here are the pertinent Summer Party details: July 27, 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. August Capital in Menlo Park Ticket price: $95 Are you an early-stage startup? Get a Summer Party demo table and showcase your early-stage startup at this legendary event.

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Deliveroo fattens its market presence by opening to restaurants that do deliveries

Restaurant food delivery startup Deliveroo is taking the next logical step to expand its business by opening up to restaurants that have their own delivery fleets — thereby also expanding the food choices it can offer its couch-loving users. Next month the company will launch the new service, called Marketplace+, in seven of its markets — onboarding restaurants that do their own food deliveries to its platform, and offering them the ability to tap into Deliveroo’s network of riders to extend their delivery services and support faster delivery times if they choose (it says restaurants will be able to “ choose for themselves how best to offer delivery” but the impact on, for example, existing delivery fleet staff employed by larger food chains remains to be seen). Commenting on the launch in a statement, Deliveroo CEO and co-founder Will Shu said: “Today we are unveiling the next big step in our plan to offer customers an even greater choice of restaurants, at a greater range of prices while continually improving service. That’s why we introduced delivery-only kitchens, bringing new, exciting restaurants to new areas. It’s why we invested in new restaurant brands to boost innovation, and it’s why today we are giving restaurants with their own fleets of riders the chance to be on our platform and to use our rider network whenever they need it. “This is a major development for the company that will mean thousands of new restaurants delivering new orders to new customers and it’s part of our mission to become the definitive food company.” The Marketplace+ service is being rolled out  globally across all Devliveroo’s markets this year, but will launch first in July in Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Australia, Hong Kong and the UK and Ireland. The company says it’s expecting Marketplace+ to bring more than 5,000 additional restaurants into its UK app by the end of the year — which would be a 50% increased on the 10,000 current available. The move will also expand where it’s able to offer a service in the market, saying it will add 50 new towns and cities in the UK by the end of the year. It also expects that, within a year, it will be able to reach an additional 6 million UK customers. (It says it’s already profitable in the whole of the UK market, and notes that its core service achieved growth of 650% globally in 2017.) Explaining why it’s able to onboard thousands more restaurants via the expansion to its marketplace, Deliveroo says this is as a consequence of building up what it dubs “ its own extensive delivery network of 35,000 riders worldwide and 15,000 riders in the UK”. Albeit, none of those riders are considered employees by the company. Rather, like many gig economy platforms, Deliveroo classes the riders who deliver its product as self-employed contractors

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Deliveroo opens up POS integration for restaurant partners via an API

Restaurant food delivery startup Deliveroo is opening up Point of Sale (POS) integrations to restaurant partners, via an API and developer portal , after trialling the approach this spring and finding appetite for uptake. The integration is intended to free up front-of-house staff from having to manually input Deliveroo food orders into the restaurant’s sales system. A Deliveroo spokesman told us that one major chain had been having to assign a single member of staff at peak times to just “sit there and type in the orders”, thereby reducing the number of staff who could attend to customers in the restaurant at a busy time. Order inputting also isn’t necessarily popular with staff, given there’s no direct opportunity for tips. Automating the task certainly seems a no brainer. Deliveroo claims initial tests  show the integration cuts order processing time from ~2.5 mins to ~30 sec. It also reckons  POS companies and “tech savvy restaurants” can complete the integration in two weeks. “We weren’t sure how many people were going to adopt it — now we can see it’s clearly taken off and is working supporting restaurants,” said the spokesman. So far around 500 restaurant sites are using integration, having joined during the trial, along with 25 POS companies that are plugging into its API. And Deliveroo says it expects  thousands to be doing so by the end of the year. A “couple of hundred” restaurants are joining each month, the spokesman added. He said Deliveroo opted to go for an API approach — and rely on restaurants to integrate its order system into their sales systems — because of how diverse the POS market is. “At a European level it’s crazy how many different types of POS companies there are. So from our perspective, rather than trying to produce our own system which worked with every single one it was best to design a system where they were able to use an API of ours and integrate from their system,” the spokesman told us. Deliveroo now operates in 12 markets, with eight in Europe and four further afield.

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Latin America’s Movile is quietly building a mobile empire

By 2020, Brazilian mobile giant, Movile , wants to improve the lives of more than one billion people through its apps. The company began its mission in 1998 selling gaming, news and SMS messaging services to mobile operators in Brazil. After receiving its first investment from South African-based global investor Naspers 10 years ago, Movile grew into one of the largest and most successful mobile companies in Latin America, with more than 150 million monthly active users of its apps and estimated revenues over $240 million . Movile’s app, PlayKids , propelled the company to the global stage. A platform that offers educational products and content for children, PlayKids in 2014 reached more than 6 million downloads within a year of launching, and 5 million active users per month. From there, Movile turned its attention to an unprecedented strategy of mergers and acquisitions in Latin America. The company’s expansion strategy included investments in more than 20 other mobile companies, such as iFood and Sympla , two of the most prominent players in Latin America’s mobile space today. Here’s a look at how Movile went from local success story in Brazil to one of the largest mobile companies in Latin America — and its next steps for mobile success worldwide. The PlayKids launching pad By 2012, Movile was the largest mobile services company in Brazil. With more than 150 employees, the company established its core offerings in mobile payments, mobile commerce and other B2B mobile solutions. Movile’s teams successfully opened offices in Mexico, Colombia, Argentina and Venezuela, which they achieved through the acquisition of another mobile company with a similar business model, CycleLogic . But it wasn’t until the launch of PlayKids in 2013 that one of Movile’s creations landed in the hands of millions of users around the world. By June 2014, PlayKids had users in more than 30 countries and was one of the top-grossing children’s apps of all time

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Food delivery’s untapped opportunity

Tri Tran Contributor Share on Twitter Tri Tran is a principal at Applico and the former chief executive and co-founder of Munchery . Investors may have already placed their orders in the consumer food delivery space, but there’s still a missing recipe for solving the more than  $250 billion business-to-business foodservice distribution problem  that’s begging for venture firms to put more cooks in the kitchen.  Stock prices for Sysco and US Foods , the two largest food distributors, are up by more than 20 percent since last summer, when Amazon bought Whole Foods . But, these companies haven’t made any material changes to their business model to counteract the threat of Amazon . I know a thing or two about the food services industry and the need for a B2B marketplace in an industry ripe with all of our favorite buzz words: fragmentation, last-mile logistics and a lack of pricing transparency. The business-to-business food problem Consumers have it good. Services such as Amazon and Instacart are pushing for our business and attention and thus making it great for the end users. By comparison, food and ingredient delivery for businesses is vastly underserved . The business of foodservice distribution hasn’t gotten nearly as much attention — or capital — as consumer delivery, and the industry is further behind when it comes to serving customers. Food-preparation facilities often face a number of difficulties getting the ingredients to cook the food we all enjoy. Who are these food-preparation facilities? They range from your local restaurants, hotels, school and business cafeterias, catering companies, and many other facilities that supply to grocery markets, food trucks and so on.

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Good Eggs raises $50M and eyes West Coast expansion

Good Eggs , the food delivery service that promises “absurdly fresh” groceries and meal kits, has raised $50 million in new funding. That looks like a big turnaround from 2015, when the company had multiple rounds of layoffs, shut down operations outside of San Francisco and brought on Bentley Hall (an executive from Plum Organics and Clif Bar) as its new CEO . Hall said that after he took over, he spent months focused on retooling the fundamental business: “We didn’t have a single conversation about growth.” Since then, he said the company started looking at “growth with purpose” and in 2018 is ready for “thoughtful, measured expansion.” “The first change is, we realized that we were a food company enabled by technology, versus a technology company that sells food,” Hall said. That might sound vague, but it led to more concrete “trickle effects,” like quadrupling the number of products that Good Eggs sells to more than 1,000. Hall said the service has become people’s “primary food supplier,” with the average customer ordering from Good Eggs more than once a week. That also meant the company had to shift from next-day to same-day delivery, which he described as “table stakes in the future.” At the same time, Hall said the company maintains its “rigorous sourcing criteria,” with 70 percent of its products sourced locally. And thanks to the Good Eggs model, where the company buys directly from local farmers and producers, customers don’t have to worry about sending a delivery person to the supermarket only to discover that the product they want isn’t available. The new funding comes from was led by Benchmark, with additional participation from existing investors Index Ventures, Obvious Ventures, S2G Ventures, DNS Capital, Uprising and Collaborative Fund. Benchmark’s Bill Gurley is joining Good Eggs’ board of directors. “Our team was deeply impressed by the operational discipline that Bentley and the team at Good Eggs have implemented to transform this business,” Gurley said in the funding announcement. “We made a study of what Good Eggs has achieved and believe the business is very well positioned to capture and scale the growing market of people who are passionate about the quality and provenance of the food they consume. It’s a massive opportunity.” Good Eggs delivery remains limited to the San Francisco Bay Area, but the company said it will be expanding throughout the region and adding capacity, then launch in Southern California next year. “We’re not going to grow where we sacrifice the foundation we’ve worked so hard to build, and we’re not going to grow in a way that sacrifices the customer experience,” Hall said. “We’ll grow as quickly as we can while maintaining those two principles. For us, that means expanding slowly and thoughtfully throughout the West Coast.” And while Hall was happy to frame the Good Eggs story as a turnaround, he didn’t want to take all the credit for it

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