Olo offers a sophisticated front- to back-end platform that helps restaurants take and process diners’ orders online—and then manage the logistics of takeout and delivery.
Since Battery’s 2015 investment in CrunchTime!, a company providing cloud software for restaurant back offices, we’ve been closely tracking the emerging ecosystem of technology around restaurant point-of-sale systems. After conducting detailed research and company due diligence in the sector, we zeroed in on online ordering as a category ripe for better technology and innovation. We identified Olo—which at the time counted customers including Chipotle, Sweetgreen, Shake Shack, Five Guys and others—as the clear, high-growth SaaS leader in that sector. By early 2019, the company counted more than 280 customers, including more than 50,000 individual restaurants. Olo also offered integrations with third-party deliver apps such as DoorDash, Uber Eats and Postmates.
The Battery deal team met with Olo’s founder and CEO Noah Glass several times and was finally able to unlock a deal to purchase equity in March 2019. Battery general partners Morad Elhafed and Scott Tobin were involved in securing the deal. After our initial investment, we incrementally grew our position in Olo through several additional purchases, including a $15 million investment on March 12, 2020, the day Battery closed its offices because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and just before the broader restaurant industry underwent a sharp downturn because of government stay-at-home orders. However, Olo’s business proved resilient, as its technology helped many restaurants stay afloat during the pandemic by offering takeout and delivery through online platforms.
- Battery advised Olo on its growth strategy and expansion into new markets, drawing on its expertise in restaurant-technology from previous investments such as CrunchTime!.
- The firm also helped Olo with customer and partner introductions, as well as counsel on marketing communications.
- In March 2021, Battery continued its partnership with Olo by participating in the company’s initial-public offering fundraise, maintaining its commitment as a long-term investor.
Olo went public on the New York Stock Exchange (OLO) in March 2021.
The presented case study investment was made in particular economic and market conditions. There can be no assurance that Battery Venture would elect, or be able, to exploit similar opportunities in a similar manner under similar or different economic and market conditions. More generally, there can be no assurances that the Battery vehicles will have comparable investment opportunities in the future. No assumptions should be made that any investments identified above were or will be profitable. It should not be assumed that recommendations made in the future will be profitable or comparable to the portfolio company described in this case study. For a full list of all Battery Ventures investments, please click here.
A monthly newsletter to share new ideas, insights and introductions to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses.