This is a monthly guest post, by consulting firm Rosenheim Advisors, which highlights the most interesting acquisitions, financings and partnerships within the Food Tech & Media ecosystem – digital content, social, local, mobile, grocery, e-commerce, delivery, ordering, payments, marketing and analytics – to give you insights into the latest funding and growth trends.
As has been typical the last couple of years, December funding activity in the U.S. was relatively light, however a bulk of international deals (mainly in Asia) spurred additional momentum in the food tech category. In total, over $125 million was raised globally across sixteen private companies, with $67.1 million of the investment going to six U.S.-based startups.
On the M&A front, while there were some opportunistic acquisitions in the mix, all five targets in December added strategic heft to the acquiring parties, primarily around customer growth and adding to the talent pool.
Overall, restaurant-related tech and delivery concepts continue to make up the bulk of activity, however it was good to see the content sector getting some traction with meaningful capital deployed for Tastemade, Yummly, Panna and Burpple. Stay tuned for the 2015 Annual Report next week, which will take a broader look at the yearly trends and investment breakdown between categories.
Peppertap Acquires Jiffstore. The Bangalore, India-based grocery delivery service was acqui-hired by Peppertap, the Guragon, India-based on-demand grocery delivery service. The 40-person Jiffstore team will join Peppertap, aiming to enhance user experience and technology talent. As Inc42 notes, PepperTap will not venture into the same business model as Jiffstore, which collaborated directly with the merchants to fulfill orders and pass on the customers. PepperTap’s approach is to handle everything from taking orders, to procuring supplies and making deliveries. The acquisition comes at the same time as Peppertap closing a $40 million Series B investment.
Yummly Acquires The Orange Chef. The San Francisco, CA-based connected kitchen platform was a strong strategic fit for Yummly, as they both are focused on augmenting the food experience through food technology, data and discovery. Primarily an acqui-hire, over half of the Orange Chef’s team will join the startup’s CEO, Santiago Merea, who was named Chief Revenue Officer of Yummly. Building on Yummly’s 15 million monthly unique users, Merea will lead the company’s effort to drive its revenue streams by working with brands and companies ranging from consumer product goods to kitchenware and to identify new opportunities for growth. Notable, Yummly didn’t acquire the startup’s hardware assets for the Prep Pad, a connected food scale.
Vietnammm Acquires Vietnamese business of Rocket Internet’s Foodpanda. The acquisition will provide Vietnammm, a Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam-based food delivery service, with access to a new customer base as well as a restaurant partner base containing over 1,000 restaurants. Foodpanda shut down operations in Vietnam due to financial issues.
Announced: 12/07/15 Terms: Not Disclosed Previous Investment: Not Disclosed
GrubHub Acquires Delivered Dish. The Portland, OR-based food delivery and catering service focuses on both corporate and consumer diners, operating in areas including Denver, Las Vegas, San Diego, El Paso and Albuquerque as well as its Portland base. The acquisition will allow Grubhub to expand delivery services and the courier network in the western United States. GrubHub’s delivery service currently serves diners and restaurants in 30 markets and expects to be in more than 40 markets by the end of 2015. According to the Chicago Tribune report, Delivered Dish will maintain current operations and team, with no plans for immediate changes.
DinnerLab Acquires Dishcrawl. The San Jose, CA-based online culinary community and event finder will expand DinnerLab’s community offerings to include more “food crawl” events. While DinnerLab currently has over 75,000 members (membership allows for early access to events), in an effort to grow its audience, the New Orleans, LA-based social dining event club recently dropped its membership fee, hoping to triple the number of dinners it offers each week (currently hosting between 25 and 30 dinner parties each week across the country). Separately, as the company continues to refine its business model, DinnerLab also announced layoffs during the month as it shifts to a contract-based model for its events staff, versus full-time. As TechCrunch notes, the company is now centralizing a lot of roles to its main office, such as sourcing ingredients and finding venues, which were traditionally handled by on-the-ground employees.
PepperTap Closed Series B with Additional $4m. The Guragon, India-based grocery delivery service allows consumers to select products from local grocery stores for on-demand delivery. The funding finalizes a $40 million Series B investment, $36 million of which was raised in September from investors including Snapdeal, Sequoia Capital, and SAIF Partners. Along with the investment, PepperTap has acquired Jiffstore, the Bangalore, India-based grocery delivery service.
Tastemade Raises $40m. The Los Angeles, CA-based digital media company focused on food, travel and lifestyle programming for the “connected generation” has a global audience of 100 million active monthly viewers, with about 60% aged 18 to 34 and its biggest markets in the U.S., Japan and Brazil. With videos available on many social media platforms, including Facebook, Snapchat, Apple TV, Spotify, and YouTube, the company has yet to make a profit and will need to scale up to capture more advertising revenue. According to Entrepreneur, its fastest growing revenue streams come from native advertising. The investment will be used to increase staff and expand the company’s presence on digital platforms.
Announced: 12/17/15 Stage: Series D Participating Institutional Investors: Goldman Sachs (lead), Comcast Ventures, Liberty Media, Redpoint Ventures, Scripps Network Interactive Previous Investment: $40.3 million Founded: 2012
Panna Raises Strategic Investment from A&E Networks. The Westfield, NJ-based digital cooking brand offers consumers premium instructional cooking videos with recipes from award-winning chefs. Panna also recent launched Simmer, described as “Instagram of video recipes,” which enables users to upload their own favorite recipes in step-by-step video format. In conjunction with the undisclosed investment, Panna will partner with A&E to produce recipe videos to be aired as interstitials on A&E’s FYI Network.
Matsmart Raises $3.5m. The Skerike, Sweden-based online grocery store sells “soon-to-be-expired” food products, at up to 90% discount to retail prices. The company aims to reduce the amount of food waste by selling foods that would otherwise be thrown away. The proceeds will be used to expand the company in Sweden and abroad to other European countries.
Announced: 12/15/15 Stage: Venture Participating Institutional Investors: Northzone, GP Bullhound, Edastra Previous Investment: Not Disclosed Founded: December 2013
TabbedOut Raises $2m. The Austin-based mobile payment app is currently installed in over 10,000 venues in the U.S. and allows patrons to open, review, and securely pay their tab. This investment, which is an extension of the Series C funding announced in June, will be used to expand to 20 planned U.S metro areas and then launch internationally soon thereafter, advance the consumer app, build integrations with other mobile services and extend Periscope’s big data analytics.
Yumist Raises $2m. The Guragon, India-based meal delivery service provides a low-cost daily meal option for consumers. Yumist cooks and delivers its own meals to consumers, with current operations in Guragon, Bangalore, and South Delhi. The company will use the proceeds to grow operations within these three cities and eventually expand to more cities in India.
Bringg Raises $5m. The New York, NY- and Tel Aviv, Israel-based platform for on-demand delivery provides businesses with an “uber-like experience” delivery option. Consumers can use the mobile platform to monitor delivery status, receive notifications when the driver is on the way, and set up text alerts. The funds will be used to grow Bringg’s team and services in both New York and Tel Aviv locations.
Gousto Raises £9m. The London-based subscription meal kit delivery service provides chef-developed recipes and organic ingredients in exact proportions. Delivery is free, and meals cost between £3-5. According to the release, with the additional funding, Gousto plans to strengthen its team of chefs and nutritionists, broaden its sales and marketing efforts, and continue to introduce a greater choice of meal and delivery options.
Eatigo Raises “Multimillion-dollar” Series A. The Thailand-based online restaurant reservation app offers discounts according to reservation time slots. The team claims eatigo has seated over one million diners, with 95% of reservations booked during non-peak hours at restaurants. According to e27, the funds will be used to strengthen eatigo’s presence in its current markets of Thailand and Singapore by increasing user and merchant acquisition as well as investing over US$1M into offline brand building in support of its online channels.
Announced: 12/07/15 Stage: Series A Participating Institutional Investors: Not Disclosed Previous Investment: Not Disclosed Founded: June 2014
Faasos Raises $30m. The Pune, India-based online restaurant chain allows consumers to order food for on-demand delivery. The company currently operates in 15 cities across India, including Pune, Bangalore, Mumbai, and Delhi. According to DealStreetAsia, the company is eyeing revenues of $20 million by end of this fiscal year, and about $100 million in the next financial year as it looks to expand its presence further across India. Faasos currently receives about 350,000 orders per day, however the company aims to receive one million orders per day in the next six months. The funds are expected to be used to grow the company to more cities throughout India, expand the range of its in-house brands, launch new services including Faasos Daily, a new mobile application for time-slotted food deliveries. The company also expects to utilize the funds for food tech acquisitions.
Teforia Raises $5.1m. The Mountain View, CA-based manufacturer of tea-brewing devices offers a brewing machine with a Selective Infusion Profile System as well as technology that allows the consumer to adjust caffeine and antioxidant levels and create personalized tea recipes. The company will use the investment to develop the company and manufacture new batches of brewers.
Announced: 12/04/15 Stage: Seed Participating Institutional Investors: Upfront Ventures (lead), InnoSpring Seed Fund, Lemnos Labs, Yves Sisteron Previous Investment: Not Disclosed Founded: 2014
Lozi Raises “Seven-Digit Investment”. The Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam-based mobile app allows consumers to find restaurants and rate dining experience. The app reported 500,000 subscribers at the end of November 2015. The funding will be used to expand the company and develop the app’s technology to better connect restaurants and users.
Announced: 12/04/15 Stage: Seed Participating Institutional Investors: Golden Gate Ventures, DesignOne Japan Previous Investment: Not Disclosed Founded: 2013
EatStreet Raises $15m. The Madison, WI-based online platform for food ordering allows users to browse local restaurants and order food for on-demand delivery. EatStreet currently operates in over 15,000 restaurants in over 250 cities in the United States. Founded by college students, the company targets locations with large universities. The company will use the investment to make technological advancements to its core products, hire additional employees and expand to more cities nationwide.
Announced: 12/03/15 Stage: Series C Participating Institutional Investors: 4490 Ventures (lead), Lumia Capital (lead), GCI Capital Co. Ltd., Math Venture Partners, State of Wisconsin Investment Board Previous Investment: $12.0 million Founded: 2010
EasyKhaana Raises $100k. The New Delhi, India-based food delivery service caters meal boxes to corporate and individual customers. The startup’s strategy is to own the complete delivery supply chain – with a combination of food, logistics & technology. The company states that orders can be placed in 30 seconds through their website. The proceeds will be used to strengthen its logistics and technology as well as reach out to more people by expanding its delivery areas.
Announced: 12/03/15 Stage: Angel Participating Investors: Not Disclosed Previous Investment: Not Disclosed Founded: September 2015
FOOD LOVES TECH Expo Funded Through Joint Venture. The New York-based event, formed through a joint venture between Edible Holdings and VaynerMedia will hold its inaugural three-day exposition in June 2016 in New York City. The first-of-its-kind event will offer consumers a portal to the future of food through technology by showcasing inventors, startups and platforms that are hacking the food chain. In advance of the event, the team is launching a design competition globally and will host an incubator event in San Francisco, Austin and New York City—in conjunction with the local Edible magazine in these areas—to find designers, hardware specialists, coders, foodies and futurists who are developing products that will disrupt food.
Burpple Raises $6m. The Singapore-based food discovery platform assists users with selecting from dining options. Users act as “tastemakers,” posting photo reviews and guiding each other to the best local restaurant options in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. The funds will be used to expand the company throughout Asia and to develop and add new features to its services. In addition, TechCrunch notes that Burpple has doubled its data science team.
Bite Club Raises Seed Funding. The Guragon, India-based mobile app offers consumers a daily menu of meals cooked by home, amateur, and professional chefs available for on-demand delivery. Bite Club currently serves approximately 1,000 meals a day and has served over 100,000 meals since beginning operations in November 2014. The investment will be used to expand operations in the national capital region.
Yelp and Open Table End Partnership. The two companies quietly ended a long-running partnership (in April) under mounting competition as each are trying to take charge of the entire customer experience.
DoorDash partners with b8ta to offer on-demand delivery of tech gadgets and products.
Drizly and Favor partner for New Years Eve to deliver snacks and beverages for New Year’s celebrants in four cities–Austin, Boston, DC and Denver.
Drizly and Allrecipes partner to make on-demand beer, wine and liquor delivery accessible from Allrecipes’ most popular recipes.
LevelUp partners with GUSTO, enterprise point of sale technology for the fast-casual marketplace, for direct integration to offer seamless payment, promotion and mobile payment solutions.
PlaceIQ partners with IRI to tackle Online-to-Offline (O2O) attribution.
As The Food Tech & Media ecosystem continues to see rapid change, Rosenheim Advisors created The Food Tech & Media Industry Map to help entrepreneurs, participants and investors understand this quickly evolving landscape. Let us know about your recent or upcoming funding, partnerships or acquisitions here.