Ordermark raises $120M to expand online ordering, virtual brands

Giant tech investor SoftBank Vision Fund led the round, a major show of confidence in the future of digital channels.
Photograph courtesy of Ordermark

Ordermark, an online ordering company with a group of its own virtual restaurant brands, has raised $120 million.

The Series C funding round was led by prominent technology investor SoftBank Vision Fund as well as returning investor Act One Ventures.

The major investment is the clearest sign yet of investors’ confidence in the future of digital ordering as those channels have become increasingly popular during the pandemic. Online ordering companies GoTab and Popmenu also received venture capital funding in the past month. 

Ordermark said it would use the funds to help more restaurants transition to online ordering.

The company’s software consolidates incoming orders from multiple platforms and sends them to a single printer. Ordermark also operates a company called Nextbite, a portfolio of 15 readymade virtual brands such as CraveBurger, Firebelly Wings and HotBox by Wiz, a collaboration with rapper Wiz Khalifa. Restaurants can offer these delivery-only brands out of existing kitchens, opening up additional revenue streams. 

Virtual brands have exploded during the pandemic, with one estimate putting their total number at more than 100,000. Ordermark CEO Alex Canter, speaking during the Food on Demand conference in August, said an Indianapolis-area restaurant the company works with was generating $75,000 a month in incremental sales with five Ordermark brands on top of its own concept. So far, Ordermark has launched more than 1,000 of the virtual restaurants, the company said.

“We believe Ordermark’s leading technology platform and innovative virtual restaurant concepts are transforming the restaurant industry,” said Jeff Housenbold, managing partner with SoftBank Investment Advisers, in a statement. “Alex and the Ordermark team have a deep understanding of the challenges that independent restaurants face. We are excited to support their mission to help independent restaurants optimize online ordering and generate incremental revenue from under-utilized kitchens.” 

SoftBank’s other investments include DoorDash, Uber and ghost kitchen company Reef Kitchens.

Los Angeles-based Ordermark was founded in 2017 by Canter, the fourth-generation owner and operator of iconic Canter’s Deli. Its platform is in use at thousands of independents and chains across the country, including Papa John’s and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. 

“2020 has been a tough year for restaurants and that’s why we’re focused on providing products and services to help keep their doors open,” Canter said in a statement. “With 92% of restaurant traffic now off-premise, this funding gives us the opportunity to provide more restaurants with innovative ways to reach more consumers. The restaurant industry is in the midst of the e-commerce phase, where restaurants must get creative by embracing technology and new sources of revenue generation to reach customers outside of their four walls.”

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