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Catering Marketplace ezCater Reaches Unicorn Status with $150M Funding Round

Online catering marketplace ezCater has raised $150 million in a round that marks the second by a Boston-based food-related company in two days.

ezCater’s latest round takes its total funding since its inception in 2007 to $320 million and takes its valuation to $1.25 billion. (Yesterday, Boston-based Toast announced it had raised $250 million in a Series E that boosted its valuation to $2.7 billion. Read more about that here.)

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Lightspeed Venture Partners and GIC co-led ezCater’s new financing. Light Street Capital along with existing investors Wellington Management Co. LLP, ICONIQ Capital, Insight Partners, Quadrille Capital also participated in the financing. I talked with Stefania Mallett, co-founder and CEO at ezCater, this morning and she told me (in between eating unicorn cupcakes) that the company plans to use the money toward continuing its global expansion “both organically and inorganically.”

Ezcater co-founder and CEO, Stefania Mallett

Last July, ezCater branched out internationally by acquiring GoCater, a Paris-based online catering platform. Earlier this year, it acquired Vancouver-based MonkeySoft Solutions™ Inc. (MSI), an enterprise software, training, and insights company that aims to help restaurant operators increase off-premises sales and profits.

The MonkeySoft buy opened ezCater up to the Canada market, where it has not yet launched its platform.

“Our friends to the north might be one of our targets soon,” Mallett said. “Combining their SaaS (Software as a Service) presence with our SaaS offerings makes us an indisputable market leader of SaaS catering management systems.”

ezCater plans to use the money to do more hiring. It currently has about 660 employees spread across Boston, Denver, Paris and Vancouver. According to Mallett, it plans to hire another 300 employees in 2019 alone, including programmers, sales and marketing staff and customer service focused-people.

ezCater only raised its first round of venture capital in 2015 but had been growing rapidly even prior to that. Mallett expects that 2019 will mark the eighth year that the not-yet-profitable company will at least double revenue and bookings compared to the year before.

“We’ve been more than doubling revenue and bookings every single year for the last seven years,” Mallett told Crunchbase News. “And we’re on track to do the same this year. It gets harder as you get bigger.”

Catering is no small industry. According to research firm Technomic, the catering market topped $58 billion in 2017 and continues to get bigger. ezCater’s marketing and software platform aims to help restaurants get more catering orders. It also managers their catering operations. According to ezCater, more than 60,000 restaurants (such as Schlotzsky’s and Romano’s Macaroni Grill) and caterers use the platform.

ezCater also touts that 97 percent of the Fortune 500 use its platform to cater for business meetings and other events.

“Most people don’t realize that catering is much deeper than the traditional market definition,” said Brad Twohig, partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, in a written statement. “ezCater is having a huge impact on the industry by moving catering online and driving substantial profitability for their partners—this is a mission we’re excited to accelerate.”

Photos courtesy of ezCater

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