- Ordermark, the online order management arm of virtual brand platform Nextbite, has been sold to Indian software company UrbanPiper, Saurabh Gupta, CEO and co-founder of UrbanPiper, wrote in a LinkedIn post.
- The sale, first reported by Nation’s Restaurant News, has led UrbanPiper to launch its products in the U.S. and Canada, initially adding thousands of restaurants to its platform in the U.S.
- The transaction comes a few weeks after Nextbite issued at least a third round of layoffs, with some employees sharing on LinkedIn that Nextbite is restructuring or shutting down.
Gupta said Ordermark’s CTO Arpan Desai will be joining the company, and NRN reported that a substantial portion of Ordermark’s product and engineering team will join UrbanPiper to help the company scale within North America.
UrbanPiper offers various tools for restaurants, including workflow automation and delivery platform integrations, according to NRN. The company plans to open an office in Culver City, California, Gupta said. There has been no indication of what will happen to Nextbite, its leadership or its virtual brand partnerships after the sale. Nextbite did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Ordermark was originally founded in 2017 and raised $120 million in Series C funding in 2020. Nextbite served as the company’s virtual restaurant business. Ordermark and Nextbite merged and rebranded as Nextbite by 2021, according to NRN. Despite its recent layoffs, Nextbite has continued to sign deals with restaurant companies, partnering with IHOP in March and Nathan’s Famous in April.
If Nextbite is wound down, it would mark the most recent contraction in the virtual restaurant space. Wendy’s began shuttering its Reef Kitchens less than two years after it originally planned to open 700 units. Butler Hospitality, a hotel foodservice and ghost kitchen company, shut down last year.
Other restaurant chains are adding their virtual offerings to their traditional menus. Applebee’s added menu items from its virtual brand Cosmic Wings to its in-store offerings last year. Cosmic Wings remains an option for franchisees, however, and it is active at about 400 Applebee’s locations.