Toast announced it raised $250 million in Series E funding at a $2.7 billion valuation led by TCV and Tiger Global Management along with participation from existing investors including Bessemer Venture Partners, Lead Edge Capital and funds and accounts managed by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. Following a period of tremendous growth—during which revenue increased 148 percent in 2018—this fundraise establishes Toast as a leading restaurant management platform for restaurants of all sizes.
“At TCV, we invest in companies that have the potential to reshape entire industries. By providing restaurants of all sizes with access to innovative technology, Toast is leveling the playing field and leading the industry’s transition to the cloud,” says David Yuan, general partner at TCV. “Our investment will enable Toast to extend their platform beyond point-of-sale and guest-facing technology, and in doing so, create a powerful SaaS platform with a superlative business model. We’re excited to partner with Toast as they accelerate the growth of the community they serve.” TCV invested in some of the largest franchises in technology including ExactTarget, Facebook, Netflix, and Spotify; David Yuan will join Toast’s board of directors.
During the past year, the number of restaurants that selected Toast more than doubled as globally acclaimed brands like José Andrés’ ThinkFoodGroup and Tartine Bakery chose Toast in addition to high-growth concepts like Joe Coffee Company, Eggs Up Grill, JACKS Urban Eats, and The County Line.
“Last year we celebrated the five year anniversary of our first Toast customer, Barismo. Now with tens of thousands of restaurants powered by Toast – and nearly 1,500 employees serving our community – it’s impressive to see how far we’ve come,” said Chris Comparato, CEO of Toast. “At our core, we believe every restaurant should benefit from the massive investment we continue to make in restaurant technology.”
Toast will invest over $1 billion in research and development—over the next five years—to continue building software and hardware designed specifically for the restaurant industry. The Series E investment will enable Toast to help solve some of the industry’s most pressing challenges:
Attracting, engaging, and retaining guests: Today, guests spend tens of billions of dollars at restaurants powered by Toast. Restaurants like SuViche already use solutions like Toast Go and Toast Guest Feedback to accelerate speed of service by up to 40 percent, increase revenue, and capture guest feedback in real-time. New guest marketing capabilities planned for 2019 will enable restaurateurs to deliver highly personalized offers and campaigns triggered by guest behavior.
Recruiting and retaining talent: Restaurants using Toast Point of Sale already benefit from higher sales, increased tips, and lower staff turnover. For example, with Toast Guest Facing Display, Broad Street Baking saw staff turnover significantly decrease as tips increased by 58 percent. New products planned for this year will simplify back-office operations and arm restaurateurs with tools to recruit, hire, and retain talent in a competitive labor market.
Improving operations and increasing profitability: Today, the Toast Platform processes over 2,500 requests per second across tens of thousands of restaurants. Through Toast Reporting and Analytics, restaurateurs can monitor the performance of their business in real-time—on any device—so they can run their business from anywhere. Investments planned in 2019 will provide restaurants with access to new reporting capabilities and insights.
Jeffrey Pandolfino, the owner of Green & Tonic, a five-location café in Connecticut, shared how Toast’s focus on the restaurant industry impacted his business: “As we outgrew our legacy point-of-sale-system, we needed a cloud-based platform to build our business on,” says Pandolfino. “With Toast, we’re not only processing orders faster, but we’ve also seen aspects of our business like catering and delivery grow by more than 50 percent.”
In 2019, Toast significantly extended its presence with on-the-ground employees across the U.S.—in addition to engineering teams in Dublin, Ireland—by recruiting from the software, financial technology, and food & beverage industries. Funding from this latest investment will enable Toast to accelerate hiring across research and development, customer success, sales, and marketing to better serve the restaurant community.