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Venture Capital News: ChowNow Closes $21M in Series C

       
LOS ANGELES, CA, ChowNow has announced the closing of a Series C funding round for $21 million.
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Ordering from a delivery app has become an everyday activity for many. But instead of helping local restaurants, it could actually be killing them off. In an effort to help these neighborhood businesses remain competitive, ChowNow, the leading online ordering platform for local, independent restaurants, today unveiled a new website, OrderBetter.com, aimed at educating consumers about the predatory tactics and "dirty little secrets" of delivery-app businesses.

Many of these big third-party delivery apps take up to 40 percent of every order placed and they own the customer data. That's especially tough for local restaurants, where the average profit margin hovers at around 6 percent. In fact, some restaurants actually lose money on orders placed through these apps - while many of the delivery startups reap record income.

ChowNow's "Order Better" approach is designed to help local restaurants thrive. Here are some of the highlights:

A flat monthly fee with 0 percent commission on all orders
The local restaurant owns the customer data
Branded mobile app and customized ordering for website
Ability for customers to order via Instagram, Facebook, and Google
"Local restaurants are often the heart of neighborhoods and there should be a way for them to stay competitive and profitable," said Chris Webb, co-founder and CEO of ChowNow. "We're interested in giving these small businesses the tools they need at a fair price so they can focus on doing what they do best."

ChowNow's 11,000 restaurant partners have generated $1 billion in transactions via ChowNow, with virtually every dollar going to the restaurants' bottom lines. In an age of "convenience tech" and third-party food delivery platforms, the company is foregoing the industry's predatory practices.

"A billion dollars in orders directly benefiting local restaurants is huge - especially to independently-owned operations like ours," said Nate Pollak, owner of The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen, with locations in San Francisco, CA and Fort Myers, FL. "That's our lifeblood, and ChowNow is a true partner in helping restaurants like ours thrive."

Series C Funding
ChowNow also announced the closing of its Series C funding round, raising $21 million. Participants included growth-equity firms 3L Capital and Catalyst Investors. ChowNow has raised a total of $60 million, including previous rounds from Steadfast Capital, Upfront Ventures, and Bonfire Ventures. With this latest round, 3L Capital co-founder and managing director Shawn Colo joins the ChowNow Board of Directors.

About ChowNow
ChowNow powers branded online ordering systems for 11,000+ independent restaurants across the US and Canada - via restaurants' own websites, on Facebook and Google, through ChowNow-created apps, and via ChowNow's website - while also providing their restaurant partners key customer insights and marketing support. ChowNow does this for a reasonable monthly fee, without the predatory commissions charged by third-party ordering apps.

Using ChowNow allows diners to connect with the best independent restaurants in their communities to order takeout (and in some cases delivery) in a way that's sustainable and fair to restaurants. For more information, visit www.chownow.com.
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