- Brookfield, Wisconsin-based global payments processor Fiserv said it has agreed to purchase BentoBox, a digital marketing and commerce company that aids restaurants in connecting with their diners online by designing web sites and setting up ordering and marketing capabilities. Details of the transactions weren't disclosed and the company didn't immediately respond to requests for more information.
- New York-based BentoBox was founded in 2013 and has collected 7,500 restaurant "concepts" across 14,000 locations in that time, acting as a "digital storefront for restaurants," the company said. Fiserv will add the business to its existing Clover digital and physical dining management software operation, which services some 200,000 restaurants of various sizes.
- The planned purchase is Fiserv's latest in attempting to expand its capabilities to meet increased consumer demand for online when it comes to interacting with merchants of all types, whether restaurants or retail products.
The need for software solutions on the restaurant front increased last year as the COVID-19 pandemic drove more customers online to order food and as restaurants searched for contactless ways to service customers on site.
"By converting visitors into loyal customers, BentoBox helps restaurants generate new revenue streams and create differentiated customer experiences," the company said. "Combining the BentoBox solution with the end-to-end management platform and omnicommerce capabilities of Clover will drive increased operational efficiencies for restaurants and enable operators to deliver seamless and distinct hospitality experiences for their diners, eliminating friction in the system today."
A spokesperson for Fiserv also didn't immediately respond to questions about the size of New York-based BentoBox and whether all its employees would be retained. Baird Equity Research analysts noted that LinkedIn counts about 200 BentoBox employees and estimated BentoBox's annual revenue at about $20 million to $25 million.
Competition in catering to restaurant's online and ordering needs has soared in recent years with a number of companies seeking to meet increased demand. Another company in the sphere, Toast, raised new capital last month in a nearly $900 million initial public offering. SpotOn, another company battling in the space, last month raised $300 million and bought Appetize to build its profile in the industry.
The pioneer point-of-sale system offered by behemoth Square has also been active in servicing restaurants for years, introducing new financial tools along the way.
Fiserv isn't the only global processor on the hunt for acquisitions. Atlanta-based Global Payments said last month that it has a multi-billion-dollar warchest at the ready for making acquisitions over the next four years.
The acquisition of BentoBox is expected to close before the end of the year, Fiserv said.