Investors are serving up a big helping of cash to a Boston B2B exchange that hooks up businesses with restaurants and caterers for catered events.
Together, a team of investors led by Wellington Management Co. and including ICONIQ Capital and Insight Venture Capital, will put $100 million into ezCater Inc., an online marketplace for business catering that claims to have more than 60,000 restaurants and caterers as users. EzCater says it serves a wide range of big and small companies looking for a catering company or restaurant to create a catered meal or special event. Its new funding brings its total venture capital to date to $170 million, it says.
The company, in business as a marketplace since 2007, will use the new funds to add products, expand internationally and add more employees, says CEO Stefania Mallett. In May ezCater, which lists companies such as Astra Zeneca Plc, Redfin and Tesla Inc. as customers, announced it was adding more than 100 new employees and opening another office and call center in Denver.
In the U.S., the catering industry generates $22 billion in sales annually, says research Technomic. EzCater enables businesses to order food from local caterers in markets across the country. The service is available in more than 22,700 cities and towns; caterers using the marketplace range from local independent restaurants to such national chains as California Pizza Kitchen, Firehouse Subs of America Llc, and P.F. Chang’s China Bistro Inc.
Caterers and restaurants pay ezCater an undisclosed commission to list their availability on the marketplace, which matches up the caterer with a company needing food, beverages and perhaps a venue to host a special event. In addition to its marketplace, ezCater also is developing new online tools to help restaurants receive and manage orders and deliver large scale meals.
For example in May, ezCater launched ezDispatch, which connects restaurants and caterers to third-party delivery companies in their area. EzDispatch is currently available in 50 major markets including Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. ezCater’s target for year-end is to offer the service to 100 markets.
In April EzCater rolled out ezOrdering, a service that lets restaurants take online catering orders on their own website, and ezManage, a catering order management and marketing system.
EzCater didn’t disclose revenue but Mallett says it has been “at least doubling” its revenue annually for the past six years.
In disclosing the new funding ezCater didn’t say where it was looking to expand overseas Sign up for a complimentary subscription to B2BecNews, a newsletter published four times a week with coverage of technology and business trends in the growing B2B e-commerce industry. B2BecNews is owned by Vertical Web Media LLC, which also publishes DigitalCommerce360.com, Internet Retailer and Internet Health Management. Follow Mark Brohan on Twitter @markbrohan.
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