Chowly, Inc., a Chicago-based company providing next-generation software for the restaurant industry, is growing at a rapid rate and poised for a breakout year in 2017. Coming off of a recent seed-funding round, the restaurant technology startup has expanded their client base internationally, moved into a new 2,000 square foot office space, and scaled their account management and sales teams to keep up with demand. In addition, Chowly recently hired Alisia Kleinmann as vice president of sales, a veteran of the hospitality technology industry. Currently, Chowly is the only company offering a solution to a common pain point for restaurant operators. Their software integrates a restaurant's point of sale (POS) platform with third-party online ordering solutions (TOOS), like GrubHub, Seamless, and Eat24.
The funding round was supported with investments from MATH Venture Partners, Chicago Ventures, M25 Group, and Domenick Montanile, pwner of Venezia's Pizza. The money raised will be used to enhance Chowly's digital marketing strategy and advance their software's efficiencies. Big things are on the horizon at Chowly—with the expansion of their executive team, closed funding round, and continued growth of their client base, Chowly expects to double the number of employees at the company by the end of 2017.
"I'm extremely excited about the investment group we put together," says Sterling Douglass, CEO at Chowly. "Having such experienced partners gives us a great advantage in getting out ahead of the growing pains that come with such high growth. Domenick has been an awesome partner too and I believe it says something when your own clients want to be part of the company."
In the second half of 2016, Chowly began to add national chains to their client portfolio such as Cottage Inn Pizza and Detroit's very own pizza chain, Jet's Pizza. Chains can further benefit from Chowly's integration as the automated order entry creates cleaner reporting from location to location. This is a big piece of their targeted growth in 2017 as well.
Looking ahead to 2017, Chowly is expected to almost double their current client base through Q1 2017. The projected increase in company size, clients, and revenue can be attributed to recent partnerships that will expand Chowly's solutions to Canada and across numerous countries in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.
"In 2016, we reached a new company record in sales. However, we will be quickly exceeding those figures in 2017," says partner Brian Duncan. "Not only have we signed a number of key partnerships with Bepoz, Granbury Solutions, and Toast, Inc. but we're also excited about our opportunities to grow globally."
The third-party online ordering solution (TOOS) industry is growing extremely fast with new services starting up every day. Growing the number of POS integrations is key to Chowly's client acquisition strategies, so the company is empowered to invest its new resources from the funding round to continue to give TOOS the tools they need to take advantage of Chowly's integrations.
"With our familiarity in the aggregator space, we know that the problem Chowly is solving is a very real one for restaurants," says Troy Henikoff, managing director at MATH Venture Partners. "They have done an amazing job solving this difficult problem and getting real customer traction as a bootstrapped startup. We are excited to help them accelerate this growth with more capital and expertise."
As the company continues to integrate their software with additional POS platforms, Chowly will also be working with POS resellers. Historically, POS resellers have distributed POS systems to their territories while cashing in on hardware sales and support packages. With a shift in the market to Cloud-based systems with more affordable tablet costs, Chowly will be expanding their reseller program to help distributors create their own profit stream by leveraging their service to existing customers and help them adapt to market trends.