- Goldbelly has received $100 million in Series C funding led by Spectrum Equity with participation from existing investor Intel Capital, according to a press release emailed to Restaurant Dive.
- The food e-commerce platform works with 850 restaurant partners across 50 states and added over 1 million new customers in 2020. The company's overall business growth also increased 300% year-over-year.
- Goldbelly plans to use the new round of funding to scale its technology and operations, accelerate the onboarding of new chefs and restaurants and launch content initiatives following its interactive cook-along series.
Goldbelly, which was established in 2013, gained a major boost from the pandemic, adding over 400 restaurants since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, according to the New York Times. The company's partner restaurants were able to sell meal kits as well as smaller, frozen versions of popular menu items across the country to try to recover lost revenue amid dining room restrictions. Unlike third-party delivery companies like DoorDash and Uber Eats, Goldbelly's shipments take about a day to get to customers.
Goldbelly's pandemic success came as many full-service restaurants turned to meal kits to grow their off-premise offerings and keep customers engaged. Twenty percent of family dining operators, 20% of casual dining operators and 23% fine dining operators had added the feature as of December, according to the National Restaurant Association's State of the Restaurant Industry 2021 report. Fifty-six percent of adults also said they were likely to purchase a meal kit if provided by their favorite restaurants, according to the report.
The COVID-19 crisis hasn't significantly changed Goldbelly's business strategy, but it has accelerated food e-commerce trends that were already percolating prior to 2020, founder and CEO Joe Ariel said in an emailed statement.
"For customers, the adoption of e-commerce in industries that have traditionally been behind has fast forwarded 5 years and food is one of those buckets. People are just more comfortable ordering food online now — whether it’s their groceries or their local takeout — and Goldbelly represents the next evolution of the food e-commerce category," he said.
Ariel added that Goldbelly's business model also "gives restaurants the ability to create new revenue streams that don't cannibalize their local market, to help them create efficiencies they never had before in order to reach new customers and be part of an economy they weren't able to access before."
Though the restaurant space is crowded with delivery aggregators that fulfill same-day, hyper-convenient meal deliveries, Goldbelly's unique value proposition could still attract diner spending even as the pandemic ebbs. Even though traditional delivery orders may wane as people return to eating on-premise, this shift may not impact nostalgia-driven purchases — which fuels much of Goldbelly's business.
The company is also refreshing its executive suite with the recent hires of Cristina Miller as chief operating officer and Ranjith Roy as chief financial officer as it gears up for a new growth phase. Miller has seven years of experience as chief commercial officer at design marketplace 1st Dibs, and Roy worked at Goldman Sachs for 15 years, most recently serving as managing director and leading the firm's banking relationships with major restaurant and e-commerce companies.
"Cristina's deep marketplace experience, operational discipline and extensive partner relationships, along with Roy's financial expertise and unique knowledge of private and public capital markets, will be invaluable as we continue to scale our business and create the future of our industry," Ariel said in a statement.