- C3 (Creating Culinary Communities) announced a $10 million investment on Thursday from Switzerland-based Lurra Capital AG, an invitation-only private capital investment firm.
- The investment will be used to support C3's growing digital restaurant brands, ghost kitchens and physical locations. Currently, C3 operates more than 250 digital kitchens and 40 restaurant brands.
- This funding round follows an $80 million investment led by Brookfield Asset Management and Reef Technology in July. TriArtisan Capital Advisors also contributed $10 million to that funding round.
This latest partnership will give C3 access to Lurra Capital's global partners, which could facilitate C3's international growth. C3 plans to reach 12,000 locations by 2023, and each of its current brands generate about $1 million per outlet, according to the company.
In a statement, C3 CEO Sam Nazarian said the partnership "opens up many avenues for us to continue expansions in markets we'd like to be more prominent in."
C3 plans to facilitate this growth through recent partnerships with cloud kitchen provider Kitopi and POS company Chowly. Reef has also committed to carrying C3 brands, including Umami Burger, Krispy Rice and Sam's Crispy Chicken, in 500 of its ghost kitchens.
C3 is launching its brands with select large-scale restaurants, like Dickey's Barbecue Pit and Captain D's, in high-demand markets on Chowly's platform over the next three months. Chowly plans to expand C3's brands to smaller partners and outer markets, eventually making them available to all of its 10,000 U.S. restaurant clients.
As part of its growth plans, C3 is targeting younger consumers through strategic partnerships with gamers and content creators, which was one of the reasons Lurra was attracted to the concept.
"C3 has its finger on the pulse of Gen Z consumers who are impacting the industry and consumer trends of today," Lurra Founder and CEO Tyron Birkmeir said in a statement.
The Lurra investment is the latest funding announcement in the booming ghost kitchen space. JustKitchen raised $20 million earlier this year, while All Day Kitchens recently raised $65 million. Reef, Kitopi, Virtual Kitchen and Local Kitchens have also all generated significant investor interest of late.
Fueled by this flood of investment capital, Valuates Reports estimates the global ghost kitchen market will reach over $71 billion by 2027, up from a valuation of about $43 billion prior to the pandemic.