This week FoodBoss, the food delivery search engine formerly known as Bootler, announced that it had raised over $2 million in funding. The venture round was led by Cleveland Avenue, a food-focused VC firm founded by the former CEO of McDonald’s, Don Thompson.
Founded in 2016, the Chicago-based startup is basically an aggregator of food delivery services. Users can go to the FoodBoss website or its mobile app and search through various delivery options, like Uber Eats and Caviar, to determine which will deliver food fastest and with the smallest delivery fee. As ChicagoInno points out, this makes the company essentially Kayak for food delivery.
Hungry deal-seekers can either enter their address or search by restaurant name or cuisine (e.g. “McDonald’s” or “Indian food”) and FoodBoss will aggregate all available information on price and live estimated wait time from delivery services to find the “best” deal. It doesn’t just list third-party delivery services (Caviar, etc.), but also restaurants that have their own internal ordering and delivery.
FoodBoss currently serves roughly 50 cities and aggregates info from over 50,000 restaurants. According to a company blog post, FoodBoss will use the new funds to expand to more cities.
With so many third-party food delivery services out there, a company like FoodBoss makes a lot of sense. People don’t have any loyalty to a particular food delivery company (yet), like they might to a certain local restaurant or fast-food chain (Chipotle 4 lyfe).
However, there are a couple of risks and downsides with FoodBoss’ business model. First of all, the company currently only has partnerships with four food delivery services: UberEats, Postmates, Caviar, and Delivery.com. That leaves out significant players like DoorDash, Grubhub, and smaller local food delivery services (e.g. Waitr), meaning that users aren’t getting a complete picture of every possible option before they order.
FoodBoss is also reliant on its delivery service partners for its data. So while the company might be able to aggregate freely from participating third-party delivery sites now, if UberEats doesn’t like their rankings and cuts them off down the road, FoodBoss could lose their relevance fast.
But for now, FoodBoss makes it easier to choose which service will save you a few precious dollars and minutes. Which, admittedly, is a super first-world thing to think about. But as food delivery becomes more and more omnipresent, those dollars and minutes could add up.