TouchBistro, an iPad-based restaurant management platform, secured CAD$150 million, or $110 million, in growth financing from Francisco Partners to accelerate its growth, expand its product pipeline and make some strategic acquisitions.
It’s been a while since we checked in with the Toronto-based company, which was founded by Alex Barrotti and Geordie Konrad back in 2010. We first profiled the company in 2014 when it raised $1.5 million in funding and was processing around $500 million in transactions from more than 1,000 merchant clients.
Both Barrotti and Konrad no longer manage the day-to-day operations of the company, having brought in Samir Zabaneh in 2021 and naming him CEO and chairman.
The global pandemic was tough on restaurants, especially those that did not have capabilities to take online orders or manage deliveries. In an email interview, Zabaneh said that much of the adoption of cloud-based technology came during the pandemic so that restaurants could improve the guest experience while also helping their operations as labor shortages and food cost increases have inundated the industry.
“We feel this restaurant industry trend is here to stay and the adoption of technology will only continue to increase,” he told TechCrunch. Indeed, the global restaurant management software market size is forecasted to reach $14.7 billion by 2030.
To adapt to those changes, TouchBistro integrated both marketing and customer relationship management capabilities into its suite of tools within the past two years while also increasing its cloud offerings, Zabaneh said.
TouchBistro itself was not immune to some of that. The Globe and Mail reported in 2021 that the company’s “growth rate fell from about 50% to roughly 10% in 2020. It lost about a tenth of its customers, and hundreds more asked for a break in fees. It laid off 131 employees and introduced features such as virtual gift cards and online takeout and delivery options to help restaurants stay afloat.”
However, it seems the company fought back to now serve over 16,000 restaurant customers to help them increase profitability and efficiency, while improving overall customer experience. TouchBistro has deployed more than 64,000 of its terminals that provide automated online ordering, menu and delivery management, contactless payments, marketing and customer engagement tools. It is also processing over $13 billion in payments annually,
The company also acquired TableUp in 2020, a move in which Zabaneh said “became the foundation for our guest engagement, loyalty and marketing tools.” The company also offered online ordering at no cost to its customers while they couldn’t offer in-person dining.
“While we are proud of our leadership position in Canada, we also expanded our distribution throughout the United States, where we have built a substantial business,” he added. “We integrated with key partners to provide our customers with best-in-class and complementary solutions, all integrated together on a single platform.”
In total, the company has raised around CAD$430 million to date. Zabaneh declined to reveal TouchBistro’s valuation.
Meanwhile, seeing the amount of technology adoption by the restaurant industry, the company felt it was the right time to accelerate its growth, he added. In addition to that, the new funding will be deployed into technology development, introducing new value-added and other integrated tools and to complete more strategic acquisitions.
“Raising the capital from Francisco Partners provides us with the capital we need to achieve our strategic objectives, while adding deep domain expertise in technology and payments that will be invaluable as we continue this journey,” Zabaneh said. “Our vision is to become one of the most complete end-to-end restaurant management platforms, deliver best in class customer experience and help our customers be successful.”