ZulaFood, a local food delivery mobile app that connects customers with restaurants through an independent contractor driver network, brought together food technology executives of Texas to take on the national on-demand food market. The company plans to do residential delivery but also corporate catering and customized orders. To date, the startup is self-funded, hasn’t raised any venture capital and described itself as profitable.
Now you can print your pizza and eat it too! Yes, you read that right. A startup building a 3-D food printer, BeeHex, has raised $1 million in seed funding to launch its first product, a pizza printer called the Chef 3D. BeeHex CEO and cofounder, Anjan Contractor says the startup plans a soft launch, working with select pilot customers in the food business in 2017. It recently moved its research and development facilities to Columbus, Ohio, a region that is home to some 170 food and beverage manufactures, especially bakeries according to economic development office.
OrderAhead, which was backed by the Y Combinator startup accelerator, and had raised funds from investors including Mark Benioff, Eric Schmidt, and Alexis Ohanian, was acquired by Square Inc. With this acquisition, Square Inc. is trying to capitalize on the trend of customers choosing their food online before stepping into a restaurant and is betting the new pickup feature will drive more orders to restaurants affiliated with its Caviar and increase the number of payments processed on its platform.
One of Canada’s fastest-growing startups, Chef’s Plate, is expanding to Quebec and eastern Canada and is eyeing an initial public offering as early as 2018. With its move east, Chef’s Plate, with 200 employees and facilities in the Toronto and Vancouver areas, will enter the turf of GoodFood, a Montreal-based meal-kit company. The meal-kit business has become one of the most active emerging technology-enabled industries globally, forecast to grow to $10-billion (U.S.) in sales by 2020 from $1-billion in 2015 by research firm Technomic.
Freshly, The New York-based company, which is pursuing a 50-state strategy after a whopping $21 million Series B, looks to emphasize health with meals that don’t have gluten or processed sugars, and prioritize proteins and hence is planning to open a distribution center in Howard County to make it the central part of their operations. It will spend $8 million to renovate the facility and The Maryland Department of Commerce issued a $1 million loan for the project.
Postmates’ current sales make it a major player, if still an underdog, in the race to capture the food delivery dollars of diners around the country. Its cofounder and CEO Bastian Lehmann, a 39-year-old immigrant from Germany, is nothing if not ambitious. Already impatient with the current numbers, he hopes to hit a revenue run rate of $1 billion, like Dropbox announced last month, by this time next year. And not long after that prediction comes down, he’s charging ahead to forecast an initial public offering by 2019, skeptics be damned!
New Orleans Saints quarterback, philanthropist and angel investor Drew Brees is backing a startup called Waitr to make take out more convenient outside of the biggest cities. Waitr, which is based in Lake Charles and Lafayette, Louisiana, has been delivering food from restaurants to customer’s homes since 2014 in places like Lafayette, New Orleans, and Tuscaloosa, Alabama etc. The company has signed white tablecloth restaurants and big franchises alike. Besides working with Brees-backed Walk-Ons, Waitr has deals with Landry’s Inc. hospitality group and Buffalo Wild Wings, to name a few.