Choco Raises $30.2M to Change How Restaurants Get Their Food

by Gordon Gottsegen
April 16, 2020
Photo: Choco

Chefs often work late into the night preparing meal after meal for waves of diners. So the last thing they want to think about after working a long shift is how they’re going to prepare for tomorrow’s menu, let alone where this food is coming from.

NYC-based startup Choco formed to address this pain point of running a restaurant. The company has created a communication platform that helps restaurants connect with food suppliers and place orders. Often, ordering food ingredients from suppliers involves a slow process that relies on phone calls or email, so Choco’s app makes it easier to place orders or send messages to suppliers throughout their busy day.

The company was founded in 2018 and has been steadily growing since. Now it is ready for its next stage of growth.

On Thursday, Choco announced the closing of a $30.2 million funding round. This comes only a few months after the company raised $33.5 million last October, and brings the company’s total capital raised to $71.5 million.

It goes without saying that restaurants are going through a difficult time right now. All restaurants in NYC must shut their doors to dine-in customers due to the global pandemic. But people still need to eat. So Choco is also launching a new direct-to-consumer feature that allows food suppliers to deliver groceries directly to people’s homes. This program will be available in the 17 markets that Choco operates in, including New York, Chicago, Berlin, Paris and more.

As part of its direct-to-consumer program, Choco will also donate 100 percent of its profits to regional restaurant funds to help restaurants stay afloat until they can reopen.

“We are at a time of global crisis where our industry needs the help – and the digital tools – to keep businesses running. The time is ripe for innovation and Choco is well positioned to help our industry be a force for positive change in the world, which is why we are doing the most to support our restaurant and supplier partners. The restaurant industry is one of the oldest industries in the world, so we are here to ensure it will weather the crisis and thrive,” the company’s founder and CEO Daniel Khachab said in a statement.

Choco will also use the new funding to grow its presence in a handful of ways. The company is currently working on acquiring more restaurants and food suppliers as customers. It’s also looking into expanding to new markets. Lastly, it is planning to grow its team to 200 employees by the end of 2020 — right now it has 150-plus employees.

The Choco team believes that inefficiency in the food supply chain leads to food waste and can impact global hunger. Thus, the company hopes its platform can help make the industry more sustainable.

“We want to make sure that the food industry comes out stronger from this crisis,” Khachab told Built In. “So we’re providing the technology to get there.”

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