Online catering marketplace ezCater gets another $150M at a $1.25B valuation – TechCrunch
In 2007, Stefania Mallett and Briscoe Rodgers conceived of ezCater, an online marketplace for business catering, and began building the company in Mallet’s Boston home, mostly at her kitchen table.
Recently, sitting at that same table, Mallett negotiated with Brad Twohig of Lightspeed Venture Partners the final terms of a $150 million Series D-1 at a $1.25 billion valuation. Lightspeed, alongside GIC, co-led the round, with participation from Light Street Capital, Wellington Management, ICONIQ Capital and Quadrille Capital.
“Raising money or getting to unicorn status, it’s all nice validation but that’s not the purpose, the purpose of being in business is to grow a very successful company with happy customers and happy employees,” Mallett, ezCater’s chief executive officer, told TechCrunch. “We are going to have cupcakes with unicorns on them. That will take us about a half hour, then we will get back to work.”
Mallett compares ezCater to Expedia . The travel company doesn’t own and operate hotels, nor do they create them. EzCater, similarly, works with 60,500 restaurants and caterers around the U.S. to fulfill orders, but at no point do they work directly with food nor make any deliveries themselves.
Since its inception, the ezCater marketplace has grown considerably, expanding 100 percent annually for the last eight years, Mallett tells us. Though, like most unicorns, ezCater isn’t profitable yet.
Both Mallett and Rodgers are software industry veterans, establishing engineering careers prior to tackling business catering. The pair bootstrapped the company until 2011, when they secured a small Series A investment of $2.7 million. That same year, U.S. foodtech startups raised $176 million, per PitchBook. EzCater would go on to raise more than $300 million in equity funding, including its latest round, and VC interest in foodtech would explode. Already this year, U.S. foodtech startups have brought in $626 million after pulling in a whopping $5 billion in 2018.
EzCater has benefited from this boom. The company raised a $100 million Series D just 10 months ago.
“We really didn’t need the money, we have quite a lot of money in the bank from the last round,” Mallett said. “There was so much talk of a funding winter and a recession coming so we said maybe we should try to raise money and then people jumped on it so we thought OK, why not? If there is a funding winter, we’re set; if not, well, we are still set.”
The investment comes hot off the heels of ezCater’s acquisition of Monkey Group, a cloud platform for take-out, delivery and catering. Mallett declined to disclose terms of the deal but said the partnership makes ezCater the indisputable market leader in catering management software. The company will use its recently expanded war chest to accelerate its international expansion and, potentially, continue its M&A streak. As for the future, an initial public offering is amongst the possibilities.
“We certainly are considering it,” Mallett said. “As we’ve grown, we’ve become more sophisticated and mature; that puts us in a good position to continue operating as a successful standalone company or be acquired by a public company or go public if we see an opportunity to do that. We are not wedded to any of these outcomes.”
Apple’s Vision Pro Headset Is Also A 3D Camera
According to Apple, all of the videos and photos captured using the Vision Pro’s 3D camera will offer a more immersive experience compared to content captured with ordinary content. That’s not to say that you can’t experience your existing Photos library with the headset, however, and Apple notes that panoramas can be viewed wrapped around the user — though only if those panoramas were captured with an iPhone, by the sounds of it.
The content appears within large windows placed in the user’s own environment, meaning the videos are watched on a large virtual screen that, in a way, is like a huge living painting positioned in one’s living room or office. These videos can be played alongside other apps available on the Apple Vision Pro, and they include expected controls like the ability to scrub through the videos, pause videos, expand photos to larger sizes, and similar. To no one’s surprise, the camera and headset both play well with other Apple products like FaceTime, as well.
Everything You Need To Know Before Buying A Used Graphics Card
As is the case with buying pretty much any used electronics or components, it’s important that you know exactly what the device in question has been through before it comes into your possession. If someone offered to sell you a car, for instance, only for it to show up with four flat tires and a hole in the roof, you probably wouldn’t want it. It’s the same thing with graphics cards.
Graphics cards, like any PC component, gradually wear out over time. If someone was pushing a graphics card to its absolute maximum 24/7, especially for something like crypto mining, it’s not going to have much life in it by the time it makes it into your hands. To ensure this problem doesn’t happen to you, you should only purchase used graphics cards from trustworthy sources. If you’re buying directly from a person, make sure it’s someone you know and trust. If you’re buying from a storefront, online or physical, check reviews and source opinions. The extra legwork will spare you the tragedy of finding your new graphics card on its proverbial deathbed.
Apple Vision Pro Headset Is Real, And It Expertly Blends AR With VR
Apple seems to have joined Meta in going down the productivity path, instead of catering specifically to the gaming market. The headset is controlled with a user’s “eyes, hands, and voice” instead of controllers. Expect advanced hand and eye tracking as standard. Gestures themselves are designed to be “subtle and natural,” and Siri also plays a part.
Users can utilize a variety of apps, and scale them to their needs. If you hate looking at your living room, “environments” can also be added to change your backdrop, and their transparency can be altered via a wheel on the headset. It also syncs with iCloud, and interacts seamlessly with the rest of Apple’s ecosystem. If you must have some form of input, Vision Pro will automatically connect with a Mac or iPhone, and can connect to things like keyboards via Bluetooth.
Apple has suggested it could particularly benefit remote workers, and people who regularly attend virtual meetings. The device also has a slim profile, which could mean it is comfortable to wear for extended periods. As current VR-users may know, this is vital when working in a headset for an extended period, or if you’re using one as a home entertainment system.
As far as gaming is concerned, Apple did give a glimpse of some capability — however, there is nothing to suggest you’ll get a similar experience to the one currently offered by devices like the Quest 2 headset.
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