The second investment fund will target investments in fine-casual and technology companies.
Danny Meyer's Enlightened Hospitality Investments closed its second investment fund with $332 million raised, well above its $300 million expectation.
Called Enlightened Hospitality Investments II, the fund will primarily look for minority growth investments between $10 million and $30 million in "high-growth, category-leading companies," particularly fine-casual restaurants and technology companies. Potential targets must also share Union Square Hospitality Group's "Enlightened Hospitality" mindset of prioritizing employees among all stakeholders to drive customer satisfaction.
The fund includes a new group of institutional partners, college endowments, strategic investors, and family offices.
"We are inspired by the resilience of the community of businesses in Fund I that have not simply endured the unprecedented challenges of the hospitality industry but have adapted and thrived. We consider it a privilege to build on this legacy and use Fund II to provide continued strategic growth equity for businesses built on a culture of hospitality to drive stakeholder success," Danny Meyer, cofounder and managing partner of Enlightened Hospitality Investments and CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, said in a statement.
The inaugural fund, Enlightened Hospitality Investments I, closed in October 2017, with $220 million raised. In the course of four years, the fund notched 14 investments, including Joe Coffee, Salt & Straw, Goldbelly, Dig and most recently, Tacombi, a New York-based taco chain hoping to expand from 13 to 75 locations in the next five years. Enlightened Hospitality Investments' portfolio has experienced several exits and liquidity events since 2017, including Resy's acquisition by American Express in 2019, CLEAR's public market debut on the New York Stock Exchange in June 2021, and BentoBox's acquisition by Fiserv in October 2021.
"We are enormously grateful for the continued support from our Fund I investors who are joining us in this second chapter as well as the fresh enthusiasm from new investors whom we are welcoming into the fold," Mark Leavitt, cofounder and managing partner of Enlightened Hospitality Investments, said in a statement. "In addition to our role as a strategic growth partner with operational experience and unparalleled resources, we are especially proud of the unique ecosystem we have created among our community of companies and our strategic investor base. EHI's value extends far beyond our capital commitment and our network is much more than the sum of its parts."
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP served as counsel to Enlightened Hospitality Investments. There were no intermediaries in the raising of the fund.