Morning Report: Another day, another unicorn.
Boston-based restaurant management platform Toast has announced a $115 million Series D led by T. Rowe Price Associates. The round includes new Toast investor Tiger Global Management and continued backing from existing investors Bessemer, Generation Investment Management, and Lead Edge Capital, according to a press release.
With this new infusion of capital, the company is now valued at $1.4 billion, marking its debut as the latest tech unicorn.
Founded in 2011, Toast originally focused on helping restaurants manage their staff. It has since expanded into a full-scale restaurant management service, including back-end kitchen management, front-end guest services, and a CRM system that stores and analyzes guest data.
Companies providing point of sale solutions have made strong market presence around the globe in recent years. The dramatic rise of Square, a public point-of-sale company, has likely helped fuel its private competitors’ fundraising.
Canada-based Lightspeed POS, which provides point of sale solutions, inventory management, and purchasing analytics to retailers and restaurants, raised $166 million in 2017. It is planning an IPO in 2019. Offering similar services, India-based Pine Labs, backed by Paypal and Temasek, is speculated to have a valuation topping $1 billion.
While point of sale is a key product for Toast, the company’s restaurant management services set it apart from other, more generic competition. Per its press release, the company will use this new round of funding to recruit new talent and further develop its software. New features under development include handheld devices for servers to take orders and checks, and a kitchen display system that allows for mobile ordering and real-time updates on if the food is ready.
The company has over 1,000 employees and a revenue growth rate of 150 percent, according to its press release. However, considering the $800 billion annual sales in the restaurant industry, Toast has only taken a thin slice of the market.
From The Crunchbase Daily:
- Global venture capital activity has once again set post-Dot Com records. Deal and dollar volume in the second quarter blew past last quarters’ highs, propelled by an upswing in late-stage dealmaking and a surge in funding for Chinese startups. For the first half of 2018, the amount of money invested — $175 billion by Crunchbase projections—already exceeds annual totals from the years 2002 through 2016.
- Another day, another colossal scooter funding round. This time, Uber is jumping in with Google’s GV in a $335 million investment into scooter heavyweight Lime. The round will bring 18-month-old Lime’s aggregate funding to $467 million.
- In a move to beef up its enterprise security management offerings, AT&T announced plans to acquire venture-backed cybersecurity provider AlienVault for an undisclosed sum. Founded in 2007, Silicon Valley-based AlienVault previously raised nearly $120 million in venture funding.
- Silicon Valley VC Scale Venture Partners has raised $400 million for its sixth fund, which will invest in U.S. software startups, with a particular focus on artificial intelligence.