Toast, Inc.

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Toast, Inc.
IndustryPoint of sale
Founded2012
FoundersSteve Fredette, President
Aman Narang, President
Jon Grimm, CTO.[1]
HeadquartersBoston, Massachusetts
Area served
United States
Key people
Chris Comparato, CEO
Steve Papa, largest individual share holder
ProductsCloud-based point of sale systems for restaurants and bars
RevenueIncrease $260 Million(2019)
Number of employees
2,010 (2021)
Websitepos.toasttab.com

Toast, Inc. is a cloud-based restaurant software company based in Boston, Massachusetts. The company provides a restaurant management and point of sale (POS) system built on the Android operating system. Toast was founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 2012 by Steve Fredette, Aman Narang, and Jonathan Grimm. In February 2020, Toast received $400 million in a round of Series F funding including Bessemer Venture Partners and TPG, at a valuation of $4.9 billion.[2][3] Toast is used in thousands of restaurants, from small cafes to nationwide enterprises, across the U.S.[4][needs update]

History[edit]

Toast founders Steve Fredette, Aman Narang, and Jonathan Grimm met at software company Endeca after graduating from MIT in Cambridge, MA. After Endeca was acquired by Oracle in 2011, they left to start Toast.[1] Grimm, Narang, and Fredette initially created a consumer app centered for mobile payments, customer loyalty, promotions, and social aspects that integrated with restaurants’ existing POS systems.[5]

The company concluded that restaurants had uses for a mobile platform beyond being able to accept payments using a phone or tablet. The company pivoted to a full restaurant technology platform, with applications for POS, online ordering, gift cards, analytics and other features. Two years later, the company signed over 1,000 merchants across the United States and grew to more than 120 employees, requiring the company to upgrade its space from 7,000 square feet in Cambridge to 40,000 square feet at the Hatch Fenway co-working space.[6][7][8][9]

In 2013, Toast received investments from several Boston executives, including former CEO of Endeca Steve Papa, who now serves as a board member for the company.[10]

In early 2015, Toast announced Chris Comparato as its chief executive officer. Comparato previously served as senior vice president of "customer success"[clarification needed] at Acquia and senior vice president of "worldwide customer solutions"[clarification needed] at Endeca. In August, Toast announced that they signed 1,000 customers in under two years, revealing 550% year-over-year growth.[11] In November, Toast released its first restaurant report, which analyzed the market for restaurant technology as well as restaurant owners’ challenges and preferred technology features.[12]

In January 2016, Toast received $30 million in a round of Series B funding from Bessemer Venture Partners and GV, previously known as Google Ventures and an Alphabet company.[13][14] The funding was led by BVP partner Kent Bennett and general partner and Android co-founder Rich Miner.[15] Several undisclosed investors also participated in the round.

In February 2018, Needham-based TripAdvisor partnered with Toast Inc.[16]

In July, 2018 the company became a unicorn startup company after a Series D round of financing raising $115 million, and valuing the company at $1.4 billion.[17]

In the first quarter of 2019, the company raised $250 million based on a valuation of $2.7 billion. The equity raise was led by TCV and Tiger Global Management.[18]

In July 2019, Toast acquired the Chicago-based human resources and payroll software company StratEx. The company also said they would add an additional 1,000 employees by the end of 2019.[19]

In February 2020, Toast announced a $400 million Series F funding round at a $4.9 billion valuation, led by Bessemer Venture Partners, TPG, Greenoaks Capital, and Tiger Global Management.[2]

In April 2020, Toast laid off 50% of its workforce due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact on the restaurant industry.[20]

In November 2020, Toast has a secondary sale that valued the company at around $8 billion, despite laying off half of its employees in April.[21]

Products[edit]

Toast's restaurant management system operates on the Android operating system. The backend can be managed via mobile device or via Web browser in real-time. Associated hardware includes a receipt printer, cash drawer, kitchen display screen, and magstripe card reader.

Recognition[edit]

In 2015, Merchant Maverick named Toast one of the best POS systems for pizza parlors.[22] In 2016, Toast was recognized as a "notable player in the restaurant technology landscape" by PYMNTS.com.[23]

In May 2016, the New England Venture Capital Association (NEVCA) named Toast the winner of the Hottest Startup: A+ at the 2016 NEVY awards.[24][25]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Farrell, Michael (September 22, 2013). "Cambridge firm is fertile ground for entrepreneurs". Boston Globe.
  2. ^ a b Chernova, Yuliya (2020-02-14). "Payments Tech Provider Toast Raises $400 Million at $4.9 Billion Valuation". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2020-02-20.
  3. ^ "Software Maker Toast Raises Funds at $4.9 Billion Valuation". Bloomberg.com. 2020-02-14. Retrieved 2020-09-09.
  4. ^ Woodward, Curt (August 7, 2015). "Restaurant tech startup Toast raising more money as it hits 1,000 customers". Beta Boston.
  5. ^ Kirsner, Scott (December 26, 2012). "Testing out Toast, new mobile app that helps diners keep an eye on the tab". Boston.com.
  6. ^ Martin, Dylan (September 9, 2015). "Here's Why Toast is Becoming a Serious Contender in the Restaurant POS Market". BostInno.
  7. ^ Kirsner, Scott (July 7, 2015). "Restaurant tech startup Toast surpasses 100 employees, gets ready to move". Beta Boston.
  8. ^ "Toast Pops Up in The Fenway: Hatch's First Tenant Moves In". The Fenway.
  9. ^ "One of Fenway's Most Historic Buildings Gets an Innovative New Coworking Space". bostinno.streetwise.co. Retrieved 2017-09-16.
  10. ^ Papa, Steve (April 13, 2014). "Steve Papa, Endeca & The Entrepreneurial Spider Web Effect". Venture Fizz.
  11. ^ Guerra, Bryan (October 27, 2015). "The Strategic Pivot: Interdependence vs. Modularity in Restaurant POS Systems". HBX Blog.
  12. ^ "Restaurants Look to Upgrade Their Technology Within the Year". eMarkter. January 6, 2016.
  13. ^ Yeung, Ken (January 5, 2016). "Toast raises $30 million for Android-powered point-of-sale-system to challenge Square". Venture Beat.
  14. ^ Martin, Dylan (January 5, 2016). "Here's How Toast Landed $30M From Alphabet's GV & Bessemer". BostInno.
  15. ^ Billings, Mike (January 6, 2016). "The Daily Startup: Toast Raises $30 Million for Restaurant POS Tech". The Wall Street Journal.
  16. ^ O'Brien, Kelly J. (February 21, 2018). "TripAdvisor partners with Toast to boost restaurant ads business". Boston Business Journal. American City Business Journals. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
  17. ^ Konrad, Alex. "Investors Slather A $1.4 Billion Valuation On Restaurant Software Maker Toast", Forbes, 2018-07-10. Retrieved on 2018-10-05.
  18. ^ Dowling, Brian. "toast rings up 250m, pledges 1b for software and hardware R&D", Xconomy, 2019-04-01. Retrieved on 2019-07-016.
  19. ^ Kalyanaraman, Srividya (2019-07-24). "Toast Acquires Payroll Software Maker StratEx". BostInno. Retrieved 2019-07-26.
  20. ^ "Letter From the CEO on COVID-19 Impact | Toast POS". pos.toasttab.com.
  21. ^ Levy, Ari (2020-11-24). "Restaurant tech start-up Toast soars to $8 billion valuation seven months after cutting half its staff". CNBC. Retrieved 2020-11-24.
  22. ^ "Best POS Systems for Pizza Parlors". Merchant Maverick.
  23. ^ "From Tablet to Table: The Democratization of Restaurant Payments". PYMNTS.com.
  24. ^ Conti, Katheleen (May 19, 2016). "New England startups honored by venture capital group". The Boston Globe.
  25. ^ "Toast, Inc. Review". Better Business Bureau.