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Toast, a point-of-sale (POS) platform aimed at restaurants, raised a chunky $101 million this week in a series C round of funding led by Al Gore’s Generation Investment Management and Lead Edge Capital. Some of the company’s existing investors, which include GV (formerly Google Ventures) and Bessemer Venture Partners, also participated in the round.
Founded out of Boston in 2011, Toast offers a mobile POS system that integrates with restaurants’ front-of-house, back-of-house, and online systems, while also offering data and insights into customer loyalty and sales patterns.
Toast has now raised more than $130 million in equity funding, including a $30 million series B round in January last year, and the company said that it plans to use its new cash bounty to invest in its online ordering platform, Toast Online Ordering, and other facets of the business, including self-ordering kiosks and handheld pay-at-the-table devices.
“We’ve rapidly expanded our business over the past year by delivering on our mission and promise to be obsessed with customer success,” explained Toast CEO Chris Comparato. “We plan to accelerate our growth even faster in the year ahead, with strategic investments that will help our restaurant customers focus on delivering great food and guest experiences.”
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Comparato added that the investment will also help the company triple its employees from around 500 today to 1,500 within the next 18 months.
A number of similar companies have raised equity investment over the past couple of years, including New York-based PoS platform company TouchBistro, which raised $13 million last year; Albuquerque-based Lavu, which raised $15 million; and Montreal-based Lightspeed, which raised $61 million;
“The restaurant industry has historically been slower than others to adopt technology, leading to operational inefficiencies and missed opportunities,” added Greg Wasserman, partner at Generation Investment Management. “Advances in hardware, software, and cloud computing are shifting that dynamic. Toast is leading this digital shift with its powerful, yet easy-to-deploy platform that is democratizing access to best-in-class technology.”
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