TouchBistro, an iPad-based restaurant management platform, has secured C$150 million, or $110 million, in growth funding from Francisco Partners to accelerate its growth, expand its product portfolio and make strategic acquisitions.
It’s been a while since we reached out to the Toronto-based company, which was founded by Alex Barrotti and Geordie Konrad in 2010. We first featured the company in 2014 when it raised 1, $5 million in funding and was processing approximately $500 million in transactions. with more than 1,000 merchant customers.
Barrotti and Konrad no longer manage the day-to-day operations of the company, having brought in Samir Zabaneh in 2021 and named him CEO and chairman.
The global pandemic has been difficult for restaurants, especially those that lacked the capacity to take online orders or handle deliveries. In an email interview, Zabaneh said much of the adoption of cloud-based technology has happened during the pandemic so restaurants can improve the customer experience while helping their operations because labor shortages and rising food costs have swamped the industry.
“We believe this restaurant industry trend is here to stay and adoption of the technology will only continue to increase,” he told TechCrunch. Indeed, the global restaurant management software market size is expected to reach $14.7 billion by 2030.
To adapt to these changes, TouchBistro has integrated marketing and customer relationship management capabilities into its suite of tools over the past two years while increasing its cloud offerings, Zabaneh said.
TouchBistro itself was not immune to some of this. The Globe and Mail reported in 2021 that the company’s “growth rate has fallen from about 50% to about 10% in 2020. It has lost about a tenth of its customers and hundreds more have requested a fee reduction. It laid off 131 employees and introduced features like virtual gift cards and online takeout and delivery options to help restaurants stay afloat.
However, it appears the company has fought back to now serve more than 16,000 restaurant customers to help them increase profitability and efficiency, while improving the overall customer experience. TouchBistro has deployed more than 64,000 of its terminals that provide automated tools for online ordering, menu and delivery management, contactless payments, marketing and customer engagement. It also processes more than $13 billion in payments annually,
The company also acquired TableUp in 2020, a move in which Zabaneh said “became the foundation of our customer engagement, retention and marketing tools.” The company also offered online ordering at no cost to its customers when it could not offer meals in person.
“While we are proud of our leadership position in Canada, we have also expanded our distribution into the United States, where we have built a significant business,” he added. “We have integrated with key partners to provide our customers with best-in-class complementary solutions, all integrated together on a single platform.”
In total, the company has raised approximately C$430 million to date. Zabaneh declined to reveal TouchBistro’s valuation.
Meanwhile, seeing the amount of technology adoption by the restaurant industry, the company felt it was the right time to accelerate its growth, he added. In addition to this, the new funding will be deployed in technology development, the introduction of new value-added tools and other integrated tools and to make more strategic acquisitions.
“The fundraising from Francisco Partners provides us with the capital we need to achieve our strategic goals, while adding deep technology and payments expertise that will be invaluable as we continue this journey.” said Zabaneh. “Our vision is to become one of the most comprehensive end-to-end restaurant management platforms, deliver best-in-class customer experiences, and help our customers succeed.”