Virtual restaurant company C3 (Creating Culinary Communities) has raised an $80 million Series B funding round co-led by Brookfield Asset Management and REEF Technology. Egon Durban and Greg Mondre Managing Partners and Co-CEOs of Silver Lake Partners, along with Dean Adler, Co-Founder of real estate investment firm Lubert-Adler.
C3’s business these days is as much about real estate as it is about restaurants. The company operates more than 40 virtual restaurant brands, leveraging underutilized kitchen spaces around the country to cook and fulfill those orders. For example, the company has a partnership with Graduate Hotels and uses kitchen spaces at Graduate locations to serve delivery-only orders to guests and the surrounding community.
In March of this year, C3 said it would also bring its virtual restaurant concept to residential spaces, starting in Nashville, Tennessee and Phoenix, Arizona. The company recently partnered with Kitopi to take C3 brands overseas to the UAE, has a deal to use Reef locations for kitchens, and last month said it would make its virtual brands available to Chowly’s 10,000-plus restaurant customers.
For all C3 concepts and partnerships, meals are available through the company’s CITIZENS GO mobile app, which is powered on the back end by online order company Lunchbox’s software.
The $80 million fundraise will go towards further expansion in the form of signing leases with real estate developers at various mixed-use, retail, and hospitality spaces. According to today’s press release, these leases will serve to open CITIZENS food halls, which are brick-and-mortar versions of the C3’s virtual food halls. These spaces will also provide additional kitchen space with which to fulfill delivery-only orders for C3 brands.
The virtual food hall concept itself isn’t new, with companies like Deliveroo, Zuul, and others employing their own versions of it. Few have pursued expansion as aggressively as C3, however. The latter says it has opened 250+ digital brand locations in the U.S., will have 1,000 by year’s end and is on track for 12,000 kitchens globally by 2023.
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