Hospitality Technology is no longer an untapped asset class. Investments, mergers and acquisitions are dominating industry headlines.
As restaurant owners and operators, we’re continuing to align with companies that offer real solutions to real industry problems, whether it’s using robotics to assist with human productivity, incorporating sustainable packaging for take-out and delivery to reduce waste, or using systems to streamline pick-up and delivery orders.
Industry insiders like us who love the tech innovations so much from first-hand experience are now buying into the companies. And investors are taking note, betting big on tech innovations successfully being used in hospitality and those that could bring even more innovation to the space.
The numbers speak for themselves. As much as $17.3 billion was invested in food tech in 2020, according to a report from Finistere Ventures and PitchBook Data. Investments in the combined space of agricultural tech and food tech increased at a 50% compound annual growth rate during the last decade, Food Dive reported. And food tech financing has increased at a compound annual growth rate of 152% in the last decade, according to the Finistere and PitchBook data reported by Food Dive.
Hospitality-Tech Success Stories
The legacy point of sale systems, (and arguably the first major tech to be adopted by the hospitality industry) that restaurants have leaned on over the years are now looked at as fancy cash registers that simply take an order and pay a bill. POS has now become the heart of the operation with everything running directly through it. This includes ordering, purchasing, inventory, scheduling, forecasting, loyalty, and customer engagement, among other components; all solutions to problems that investors are backing.
The latest success story of a company streamlining these pain points industry-wide is Toast, the restaurant point-of-sale management company that provides contactless ordering, online delivery management, marketing and payroll management all in one tech solution to more than 48,000 restaurants. The Boston-based company went public this month in an IPO valuing the company at $20 billion.
Also in the news recently is Olo’s acquisition of Wisely for $187 Million. Olo Inc., an on-demand commerce platform will acquire Wisely Inc., a customer intelligence and engagement platform that enables restaurant brands to personalize the guest experience to maximize customer lifetime value.
Other big tech companies are getting behind hospitality too. Microsoft invested $5 million in hospitality startup Oyo Hotels, a digital hotel and home booking platform, earlier this month entering a multiyear agreement with Microsoft Corp. to develop new travel tech used through its cloud computing service Azure to boost digital capabilities at smaller hotels, according to Bloomberg, which reported its gearing up to file an IPO.
And with the pandemic proving the need for groceries on-demand, Instacart is anticipated to file for an IPO this fall, according to CNBC.
Aligning with restaurant industry insiders who have a finger on the pulse in tech that is truly driving the bus to help streamline operations is crucial when considering the next big investment in the space.
At Branded, we subscribe to the theory that it takes a village. If you’re interested in exploring investment opportunities with Branded, please contact us directly.