- Digital food hall Local Kitchens raised $25 million in Series A funding led by General Catalyst with support from existing investors Human Capital and Pear VC, according to a Monday press release. New investors include Fifth Wall and Penny Jar Capital, an early stage venture firm backed by Stephen Curry.
- The company, which was founded by former DoorDash employees Jon Goldsmith, Andrew Munday and Jordan Bramble, has now raised $28 million overall since it launched last summer.
- Local Kitchens, which currently has a network of units throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, will use this funding to expand into new markets in California and other regions. The company has seen rapid growth in the last nine months, partnering with local restaurants in three Bay Area cities (Cupertino, Lafayette and San Jose), with locations in Mountain View and Palo Alto to come.
Local Kitchens is growing at a time when many other ghost kitchen and digital food hall operators are raising funds and building relationships with other companies to help expansion plans.
But there could still be plenty of opportunities and restaurants available, especially among local chains. Local Kitchens tends to focus less on national brands, which providers like Combo Kitchen and Ghost Kitchen Brands have partnered with of late.
Local Kitchens currently works with several regional brands, including Curry Up Now, Sajj Mediterranean and Mixt, according to its website. Each location has eight to 10 restaurants and offers takeout. While the company currently only provides carryout, its website says delivery is coming soon.
Customers can order on the website Localkitchens.com via in-store kiosks, and the food is prepared within 15 minutes. Its Cupertino, California, location also offers indoor dining.
"Local Kitchens' mission is to ensure that local restaurants — not just national brands — can thrive in the 'new normal,'" Goldsmith, CEO and co-founder of Local Kitchens, said in the press release. "In the six months since our seed round, we've helped more than a dozen local restaurants add millions in new sales and connect with customers in new markets. This funding will help us accelerate our impact and help our restaurant partners scale across the country."
Other brands in the segment raising money recently include San Francisco-based All Day Kitchens, which raised $20 million in Series B funding in May and has plans to further expand in California, Chicago and Texas. In June, JustKitchen raised $20 million, with plans to expand from Asia and into the U.S., targeting the West Coast specifically. Reef Technology raised $700 million last year. C3 is expanding rapidly through a partnership with Chowly, which will give the platform access to Chowly's 10,000-plus restaurant clients.