Fast casual chain Sweetgreen announced today it has closed a $150 million in funding co-led by Lone Pine Capital and D1 Capital Partners. The round also saw participation from existing investors. This brings Sweetgreen’s total funding to $478.6 million and values the company at $1.6 billion.
According to the press release, the funding round will go towards helping Sweetgreen expand into new markets. The company, now headquartered in Los Angeles, plans to expand into Miami, FL, Denver, CO, and Austin, TX in 2020.
As part of that expansion, Sweetgreen will launch more locations for Outpost, its pickup stations the company places in large office buildings. Employees order their meals via the Sweetgreen website or app then grab their food at Outpost station. Sweetgreen started Outpost in 2018 and now has over 400 of them throughout the U.S., in offices at WeWork, Nike, and Headspace, to name a few.
And in what’s probably the most important piece of news to come out of this funding announcement, the company will also use the new funds to launch its own in-house delivery program. Sweetgreen is currently available through third-party delivery partners like Grubhub. The company says it will offer delivery capabilities through its own app and website in 2020. The move is a logical followup to Sweetgreen’s June purchase of Galley Foods, a meal delivery company with a similar commitment to healthy food and, in the words of Sweetgreen CEO Jonathan Neman, “unparalleled insight into delivery.” That includes a live courier operation, which Sweetgreen will presumably use to fulfill in-house delivery orders.
Finally, Sweetgreen will use some of the new funds to continue supporting the Reimagining School Cafeteria’s program it does in partnership with FoodCorps to get healthier foods into school cafeterias. Sweetgreen pledged $1 million to the program Earlier this month, the company announced an expansion of the program to schools across the country.