When Alex Canter, a University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate and the fourth-generation proprietor of Canter’s Deli in Los Angeles, took over business development operations at his great-grandfather’s restaurant, he quickly became frustrated by the complexity involved in routing orders from multiple food delivery platforms. Fortunately, he met entrepreneur Mike Jacobs, who’d launched a product targeting order fulfillment for stadium concession stands and food trucks. The two cofounders, along with four others, fine-tuned a solution with partners that included Kitchen United and Epson, and in under a year their product and company — Ordermark — graduated from Boulder, Colorado-based accelerator Techstars and grew to more than 25 employees.
Now, months after moving its headquarters to a 7,200-square-foot office in Culver City (while keeping a Denver office), Ordermark is gearing up for growth with a fresh capital infusion. The startup today revealed that it recently closed an $18 million series B funding round led by Foundry Group, with participation from previous investors TenOneTen Ventures, Vertical Venture Partners, Mucker Capital, Act One Ventures, and Nosara Capital. The raise comes after a $9.5 million series A in September 2018 and brings Ordermark’s total raised to over $30 million.
CEO Canter says the funding will fuel the integration of Ordermark’s service with existing restaurant technologies, including point of sale (POS) systems, kitchen display systems, accounting tools, last-mile delivery companies, and more. Additionally, he expects it will lay the groundwork for support of emerging restaurant models, like virtual restaurants.
“I cofounded Ordermark to help my family’s restaurant adapt and thrive in the mobile delivery era and then realized that, as a company, we could help other restaurants experiencing the same challenges. We’ve been gratified to see positive results come in from our restaurant customers nationwide,” said Canter. “So we are thrilled to have the backing of Foundry Group to fuel our growth. We have some incredibly cool innovations in the pipeline and look forward to bringing them to restaurants everywhere.”
For each client, Ordermark develops a strategy and creates a bespoke rollout plan, identifying services to bring on, negotiating rates, setting up marketing strategies, and even designating delivery driver pickup zones. The company supplies ordering hardware in the form of a touchscreen Samsung tablet and custom-designed Epson printer, along with software that integrates well over a dozen delivery providers, including Uber Eats, Postmates, DoorDash, ChowNow, Caviar, Delivery.com, and popular POS systems like Brink, Dinerware, Positouch, Simphony, and Squirrel.
Hardware is an important piece of Ordermark’s approach, according to Canter. Prior to onboarding, its restaurant customers are often stuck juggling multiple tablets and laptops to field incoming delivery orders. A multitude of printers and disparate checkout workflows exacerbates the problem, particularly at peak times.
The other key to Ordermark’s solution is a dashboard from which restaurant employees can manage multiple platforms (even for restaurants that provide their own delivery drivers) and from which they can reach out directly to a U.S.-based customer care team to change hours, update menus, or even temporarily pause service. This dashboard also affords them access to analytics tools that surface real-time locations and metrics and run reports across all delivery services.
Ordermark’s success has been nothing short of meteoric, with over 3,000 restaurant brands signed on to date including Buffalo Wild Wings, Little Caesars, Sonic, Qdoba, Johnny Rockets, Subway, Popeyes, Papa John’s, Which Which, Moe’s, Togo’s, Pinkberry, Pieology, TGI Fridays, Yogurtland, and Halal Guys. Deployments rose from 20 U.S. states in September 2018 to over 40 today, and Ordermark expects to have customers in all 50 states within months.
Ordermark competes to an extent with Chowly, which similarly integrates third-party ordering platforms with POS systems, and Checkmate, whose tech suite funnels orders directly into restaurants’ POS systems. But Foundry Group partner Chris Moody believes the food delivery market’s current trajectory — from $17 billion in revenue this year to more than $24 billion in 2023, according to Statista — promises great things for Ordermark.
“Foundry Group has a long history of investing in companies that glue together disparate systems over diverse platforms — and that’s exactly what Ordermark is doing in the restaurant industry: connecting third-party ordering solutions, point-of-sale systems, and other cool innovations to help restaurants consolidate, grow, and understand their delivery business,” said Moody. “We were initially introduced to Ordermark via three of our partner funds: Techstars Ventures, Matchstick Ventures, and TenOneTen Ventures. All three were incredibly excited about what the Ordermark team is building and the tremendous progress they’ve made since their series A investment. The more we got to know Alex and the team, the more we realized what an incredible platform they’re building. Their products work in part because Alex is a fourth-generation restaurant owner and he and his team truly understand the needs of the restaurant industry.”