Restaurant-tech heavyweight Toast announced today it has closed a $400 million Series F funding round led by Bessemer Venture Partners, TPG, Greenoaks Capital, and Tiger Global Management. The round brings Toast’s total funding to $902 million. More importantly, as Toast’s press release notes, it boosts the company’s total valuation up to a whopping $4.9 billion.
Toast has long been a major player in the world of restaurant tech. It’s platform, which launched back in 2013 as a humble POS system, has expanded and evolved over the years to become an end-to-end restaurant-management stack that includes front-of-house, back-of-house, guest-facing, and back office software and hardware tools, as well as an extensive marketplace from which restaurants can choose additional features to integrate (e.g., delivery).
That the company is now valued at nearly $5 billion also says something about restaurant tech in general. Restaurants in the last few years have added tech tools at an almost blinding pace as demand for delivery and takeout ramps up, orders arrive through multiple different sales channels, and personalizing the guest experience gets ever more important.
Toast was wise to branch out from just being a POS maker when it did. Restaurant-tech tools may proliferate now, but some predictions suggest businesses have reached a point where they will start to add and evaluate their tech more strategically. Being an all-in-one solution that can address most needs for most types of restaurants have a bigger shot and surviving this ultra-saturated market than those that only cater to a few needs. Being valued at $4.9 billion doesn’t hurt, either.
Not that Toast is alone. Square does its own restaurant-management platform, as do Fourth and HotSchedules, who merged in 2019. Also in 2019, LimeTray brought its system to the U.S. (The company is already an established restaurant tech player in India, the UK, the UAE, and South Africa.) Let’s not forget Brightloom (née Eatsa), who struck a deal with Starbucks to integrate the latter’s mobile ordering and loyalty functions into Brightloom’s existing restaurant-management stack.
For its party, Toast has said it will use the new funds to design new products and capabilities, particularly those that can increase speed of service and restaurant revenue, decrease employee turnover, and help further help restaurants manage their financials.