Toast announced $115 million in Series D funding to accelerate investment in research and development, recruit new talent, and expand its market presence. The financing round, led by funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., with participation from new investor Tiger Global Management, LLC – as well as existing investors – values Toast at $1.4 billion.
“The way restaurants serve their customers is going through a fundamental change, and the technology that enables restaurant operations must respond to these new demands. Toast does this,” said Henry Ellenbogen, portfolio manager of T. Rowe Price New Horizons Fund. “Our investment in Toast reflects our belief in the firm’s ability to become much larger over time. We look forward to working with Toast’s management team as they help their clients and grow the business.”
By combining a powerful Android-based point-of-sale experience with solutions designed to increase revenue and improve restaurant operations, Toast has become one of the fastest-growing technology companies in North America. During the past year, revenue increased 150 percent as leading restaurants and concepts including Jamba Juice, Sepia, WaBa Grill, Hattie B’s Hot Chicken, Dos Toros Taqueria, honeygrow, The Pizza Press, and B.GOOD joined tens of thousands of existing restaurants across all 50 states in the Toast customer community.
“Toast enables our team to streamline operations in a way that wouldn’t be possible with legacy technology,” says Austin Brinson, VP of analytics at B.GOOD. “Thanks to Toast’s focus on the unique needs of restaurant operators, our entire organization is empowered to make data-driven decisions.”
To support the demand for its platform, Toast now employs more than 1,000 people in over 30 states and is actively hiring new talent to support its increasingly global footprint. New offices opened in Portland, Oregon and Omaha, Nebraska will support Toast’s growing workforce. When combined with Toast’s Boston headquarters and existing office in Dublin, Ireland, the company is well positioned to support thousands of employees in the future.
“With close to $800 billion in annual sales and representing nearly 15 million jobs in the U.S., the restaurant industry is a powerful contributor to local economies,” says Christopher Comparato, CEO of Toast. “As restaurant owners and operators navigate shifting consumer expectations driven by mobility and personalization, they’re selecting Toast as their platform of choice to deliver a guest-first and data-driven experience that increases revenue, streamlines operations, and delights guests.”
The Series D funding allows Toast to accelerate investments in research and development. Areas of continued focus include:
Handheld technology to increase sales: Toast Go, a fully integrated mobile point-of-sale device designed by Toast, transforms how restaurateurs run and staff their business. Odd Duck – a full service restaurant in Austin, Texas – increased revenue by over $500,000 and reduced server turnover as tips grew by $7,000 per server, annually, with Toast Go.
Back of house technology to increase speed of service: Eventide, an innovative seafood concept in Boston, introduced a continued service model powered by Toast. In the fine-casual eatery, guests enjoy a mobile ordering experience and receive text notifications from the Toast Kitchen Display System when their food is ready. Servers on the floor extend the service model and provide continuous tableside ordering with Toast Go.
Guest-facing technology to manage brand risk: Harvard Business School found that a one-star change in online restaurant ratings can have a dramatic impact on revenue. With new guest feedback applications under development at Toast, restaurants of all sizes will soon be able to proactively address service concerns and re-engage guests directly through their point of sale.