In 2007, Stefania Mallett and Briscoe Rodgers conceived of ezCater, an internet market for company catering, and started building the business at Mallet’s Boston house, largely in her kitchen table.
Lately, sitting in the exact same table, Mallett negotiated with Brad Twohig of Lightspeed Venture Partners the last terms and conditions of a $150 million Series D-1 in a $1.25 billion evaluation. Lightspeed, together with GIC, co-led the round, with involvement from Light Street Capital, Wellington Management, ICONIQ Capital and Quadrille Capital.
“Raising money or getting to unicorn status, it’s all nice validation but that’s not the purpose, the purpose of being in business is to grow a very successful company with happy customers and happy employees,” Mallett, ezCater’s chief executive officer, told TechCrunch. “We are going to have cupcakes with unicorns on them. That will take us about a half hour, then we will get back to work.”
Mallett contrasts ezCater into Expedia. The travel business does not own and run hotels, nor do they produce them. EzCater, additionally, it functions with 60,500 restaurants and caterers around the U.S. to meet requests, but at no time do they operate directly with meals nor create any deliveries themselves.
Since its beginning, the ezCater market has increased substantially, expanding 100 percent yearly for the previous eight decades, Mallett informs us. Though, like most unicorns, ezCater is not profitable yet.
The two Mallett and Rodgers are software industry pros, establishing engineering professions before tackling company catering. The set bootstrapped the company till 2011 when they procured a little Series A expense of $2.7 million. That exact same year, U.S. foodtech startups increased $176 million, per PitchBook. EzCater goes on to increase over $300 million in equity financing, including its most recent round, also VC interest in food tech would burst. Already this season, U.S. foodtech startups have earned $626 million after pulling into a whopping $5 billion in 2018.
EzCater has benefited from this boom. The business increased a $100 million Series D only 10 weeks ago.
“We really didn’t need the money, we have quite a lot of money in the bank from the last round,” Mallett said. “There was so much talk of a funding winter and a recession coming so we said maybe we should try to raise money and then people jumped on it so we thought OK, why not? If there is a funding winter, we’re set; if not, well, we are still set.”
The investment comes hot off the heels of ezCater’s purchase of Monkey Group, a cloud platform for take-out, catering and delivery. Mallett declined to disclose details of the agreement but said the venture creates ezCater the indisputable market leader in catering management program. The business will use its newly expanded war chest to accelerate its global expansion and, possibly, keep its M&A chain. In terms of the long run, an initial public offering is one of the options.
“We certainly are considering it,” Mallett said. “As we’ve grown, we’ve become more sophisticated and mature; that puts us in a good position to continue operating as a successful standalone company or be acquired by a public company or go public if we see an opportunity to do that. We are not wedded to any of these outcomes.”