Taster, a French startup who creates restaurant brands made specifically for delivery, has raised $8 million in a new funding round. The round was led by Battery Ventures, with participation from existing investors Heartcore Capital, LocalGlobe, GFC and Marc Ménasé. This brings Taster’s total funding to $13.1 million.
The company currently owns and operates three “restaurants,” which it runs out of ghost kitchens in Paris, London, and Madrid. Out Fry is a Korean Fried Chicken concept, O Ke Kai specializes in Hawaiian food, and Mission Saigon makes Vietnamese fare.
Founder Anton Soulier got the idea for Taster after working at Deliveroo and becoming disenchanted with the quality of the food in the delivery realm. Taster, which he founded in 2017, works with Michelin Star chefs to keep the food as high-quality as possible, and locally sourced, too. The company works out of 12 different kitchens across Paris, London, and Madrid, though it doesn’t actually own the facilities. Instead, Taster partners with companies like Travis Kalanick’s CloudKitchens, who rent ghost kitchen space out to restaurants.
For the actual delivery part, Taster works with Deliveroo, Uber Eats, and Glovo, which means it doesn’t have to manage the logistics behind that part of the operation, and can instead focus on what goes on in the kitchen.
Taster is one of a few companies in Europe building a business off delivery-only restaurant concepts. Frichti is a fellow French startup, delivering pre-made meals customers heat up. It’s notable in particular for owning and operating the full delivery stack, from taking orders to making the food to cycling it over to your apartment.
Elsewhere, Berlin, Germay-based Keatz recently raised €12 million for its virtual kitchen network, which it uses to create in-house restaurant brands much like Taster.
To date, Taster says it employs 115 people, 100 of whom work in the kitchens. The company has already developed some tech that streamlines back-of-house operations like inventory management, supply chain, billing, and integrating delivery platforms. Taster says the new funds will go towards launching three new food brands by the end of 2019 and the company plans to hire more talent in tech and engineering, as well as supply chain and marketing.