Food Tech Peach Raises $8M as First Course, Plans Entrée in Boston

After expanding to San Diego in May, Seattle-based Peach says it has raised $8 million in venture funding to bring its lunch ordering technology to Boston this October, and to Washington D.C. by early next year.

In a statement today, Peach says Seattle’s Madrona Venture Group led the current Series A financing round, which was joined by Paul Allen’s Vulcan Capital. Madrona, Vulcan, and Maveron all contributed to the $2.7 million in seed funding that Peach raised in mid-2014.

Three ex-Amazon software developers, Nishant Singh, Chenyu Wang, and Denis Bellavance, founded Peach in early 2014 to develop Web-based technology that provides order processing and food logistics services to restaurants under a revenue-sharing agreement. The company’s analytic software helps predict each restaurant’s order volume a week in advance and optimize delivery routes. It can even help drivers find the best parking spots for each delivery run.

The move to Boston marks Peach’s third expansion. The startup faces a market crowded with such rivals as GrubHub, Foodler, Favor, Caviar, and Chef Nightly, a Blade portfolio company that began offering its AI-based meal ordering service in Boston earlier this year.

“We look for high-density workplaces and interesting food options—most cities have that, definitely Boston and DC,” Peach co-founder and CEO Singh wrote in an e-mail.

In the statement released today, Madrona managing director Scott Jacobson says, “Nishant and his team have built a two-sided marketplace that works incredibly well for both restaurants and eaters. While there is no shortage of companies in this category, Peach is the first to design a service that delights both constituencies equally.”

Peach has sought to differentiate its takeout ordering service by focusing on the lunchtime takeout business among major employers, and making the process as simple as possible by using an SMS/text-based ordering system. Peach sends a daily text to registered members that offers a lunch dish of the day and just two alternative options—“lite” and vegetarian. Members simply reply “yes” to place their orders, which are delivered during the lunch hour.

Peach partners with restaurants that provide workplace lunch deliveries, and recently added technology that helps restaurants provide catering services. The company says it has delivered more than 400,000 meals since it began operating in Seattle in June, 2014.

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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