ChowNow, the online ordering platform for local restaurants, announced Wednesday (May 8) it has raised $21 million in venture funding.
In a press release, the Los Angeles, California startup said it has raised the capital via a Series C round of funding, with 3L Capital and Catalyst Investors participating. To date, the company has raised $60 million, including previous rounds from Steadfast Capital, Upfront Ventures and Bonfire Ventures. ChowNow said with the Series C round of fundraising, 3L Capital Co-founder and Managing Director Shawn Colo will join the company’s board.
In conjunction with the fundraising announcement, ChowNow announced it has launched OrderBetter.com, a new website aimed at educating consumers about the secrets behind the delivery app business. According to ChowNow, many of the big third-party delivery apps take around 40 percent of every order, and also get control and ownership of customer data. For local restaurants that have average profit margins of around 6 percent, that could harm rather than hurt their business.
In addition to educating consumers, the Order Better service caters to restaurant owners by offering a branded mobile app and ordering website, charging a flat monthly fee and taking zero commissions on orders. Customers can order via Instagram, Facebook and Google, and all data is owned by the restaurant, not ChowNow.
“Local restaurants are often the heart of neighborhoods, and there should be a way for them to stay competitive and profitable,” said Chris Webb, co-founder and CEO of ChowNow, in the press release. “We’re interested in giving these small businesses the tools they need at a fair price so they can focus on doing what they do best.”
According to the company, its 11,000 restaurant customers have generated $1 billion in transactions via ChowNow, with nearly all of those funds going to the restaurant. ChowNow is positioning itself as the third-party delivery platform operator that is foregoing the predatory practices seen in the industry.