Dave Portnoy, founder of sports media empire Barstool Sports and pizza connoisseur, has taken an equity stake in technology provider Slice.
Portnoy is well-known in the food world for his pizza review series, "One Bite." He will use that connection and his considerable following to help attract pizzerias to Slice, which aims to provide mom-and-pops the same technology that big pizza chains use.
A Slice representative declined to provide details about the equity agreement.
"These guys at Slice are really helping small businesses and that's why I'm excited about this partnership," Portnoy said in a statement. "I want to get more money into the pockets of independent restaurant owners and I firmly believe Slice has the tools, technology and expertise to grow their businesses."
It's the latest high-profile endorsement for fast-growing Slice, which has raised $125 million to date and counts former Focus Brands COO Kat Cole among its board members. It works with more than 17,000 pizzerias.
For Barstool, it continues a deepening connection to the restaurant industry. Portnoy's Barstool Fund has helped raise more than $41 million for independent restaurants and other small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Barstool also partnered with Virtual Dining Concepts to develop Barstool Bites, a virtual restaurant brand offering gameday fare like wings and fried bites.
Barstool and Portnoy have faced criticism over the years, including allegations that the site's content promotes rape culture and cyberbullying. Last July, Portnoy apologized for using the N-word and making other racist comments.