Just under a year ago, Revolution Ventures announced a $7M investment in OrderUp, the leading company bringing on-demand food delivery to consumers and online automation to restaurants in hometowns, nationwide.
Given Revolution’s long history of investing in companies that leverage technology to empower and enable small businesses and consumers, we saw tremendous potential in OrderUp’s vision to bring the benefits of the growing on-demand economy to smaller markets nationwide. Since that time, the market has woken up to the category and today OrderUp’s potential to transform food commerce was secured with the acquisition of the company by Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN).
OrderUp was founded in 2008 by Chris Jeffery and Jason Kwicien who believed that online food ordering and delivery shouldn’t be limited to large, dense markets like San Francisco, New York, and Chicago. By bringing together great technology, fulfillment, and an experienced team with a deep understanding of how local restaurants really do business, the company has scaled profitably in untapped geographies across the country like Iowa City, Nashville, and Raleigh – very similar to the cities we choose to visit on our Rise of the Rest road trips. So, not only did we see potential in the business, we were also mission-aligned in our belief that there is significant potential in markets that have been largely overlooked.
Chris and Jason personify hungry, scrappy founders. They bootstrapped the business from one market in Pennsylvania to dozens of markets across the country but ultimately concluded that a like-minded investor was necessary to realize their dream of building the leading national online food delivery company. Since the time of our investment, the company has dramatically grown its reach, delivery network, technology platform, management team, and financial performance.
Also during that time, the food tech space has become increasingly capitalized with startups investing heavily to achieve scale, primarily in large metropolitan areas. In April alone, $250 million was invested in 15 private companies while large incumbents like GrubHub and Yelp acquired smaller companies to amplify their online ordering or delivery capabilities.
Groupon has incredible consumer reach and is one of the leaders in local commerce. Combined with OrderUp’s best in class online food ordering and delivery platform, the combination of the two is well positioned to become the national online food delivery leader faster than OrderUp could have on its own. OrderUp delivers to consumers everywhere and will be a great partner to help Groupon grow in this space.