The folks at AgFunder are better known for their investments in companies that trace food safety, monitor soil health, and perform other agri tech-related tasks. So it was both surprising and intriguing the learn this week that the firm has made its latest investment in the restaurant tech space, with TRAY. Financial specifics of the deal were not disclosed.
TRAY is an Arizona-based company that makes a cloud-based POS system designed around the concept of customers serving themselves in the restaurant, whether that’s through apps, kiosks, websites, or some other channel.
From the AgFunder announcement:
Where most restaurant POS systems were built for back-of-the-house ordering, TRAY’s DNA from the beginning was built for on-demand service for the consumer. TRAY is a complete point of sale system for the enterprise that specializes in self-service ordering and, unlike other legacy POS companies, it was built with self-service at its core, not as an afterthought.
While the company’s technology can serve as an end-to-end solution for restaurants, offering everything from order processing and payments to loyalty programs and kitchen displays, it can also just be integrated with existing POS systems that need to boost their self-service offerings. For example, a restaurant might choose to simply install a few of TRAY’s self-serve kiosks, rather than the entire system. For restaurants without the deep pockets of, say, McDonald’s, the benefit is being able to license different aspects of self-service tech and try them out as demand warrants, rather than invest in an entire self-service system.
TRAY was founded in 2013 as a mobile order and payment app for restaurants that eventually morphed into a full POS system. In addition to the investment from AgFunder, the company also has backing from Greycroft, RiverPark Ventures, Mucker Capital, and Bonfire Ventures.
AgFunder, meanwhile, said in its announcement that it’s been tracking restaurant technologies as far back as 2016 and will be explore opportunities “further downstream the agrifood tech value chain.”