BevSpot, With Harvard & MIT Roots, Grabs More Cash For Bar Software

[Updated 7/7/16, 9:19 a.m., with information from BevSpot press release and CEO interview.] BevSpot, a Boston-based startup that makes software that helps bars and restaurants manage inventory and analyze sales and operations data, has ordered up another round of investment dollars.

In a new SEC filing, BevSpot says it raised $11 million in equity funding. The Series B round was led by previous backer Bain Capital Ventures, with contributions from other previous investors and new backers whom BevSpot declined to name in a press release issued a day after the SEC document was filed. The company’s investors include Dorm Room Fund, Bob Doris of Accanto Partners, former NFL cornerback Domonique Foxworth, and Ajay Agarwal of Bain Capital Ventures, according to earlier reports by the Boston Globe. BevSpot says it has raised a total of about $19 million from investors to date.

BevSpot was formed a little over two years ago by Rory Crawford, Alex Lesman, and Chidubem Ezeaka. Chief technology officer Lesman and chief product officer Ezeaka studied computer science and engineering at MIT, while chief executive Crawford studied economics and Spanish at Tufts University and pursued an MBA at Harvard Business School for one year before taking a leave to work on BevSpot full-time. (Lesman also left MIT early, but Ezeaka was able to complete a master’s degree before joining the company full time, Crawford says.)

The startup was originally housed in the Harvard Innovation Lab, before moving to its own space in downtown Boston. The company says it currently employs more than 80 people.

BevSpot’s software—which works on mobile phones, tablets, and desktop computers—aims to make it easier for bars and restaurants to track alcohol inventory, place orders with suppliers, and crunch sales and operational data. The idea is to help business owners and managers make better-informed decisions and save time and money. The startup has more than 400 customers who are primarily located in 43 states, Crawford says, along with a handful of customers in Canada and Nigeria, as the company tests the international waters before making a bigger push outside the U.S.

BevSpot is part of a trend of entrepreneurs applying sophisticated software to business sectors that have been slow to adopt new technology. Restaurant software in particular has become a very active field in recent years. Some related companies include Breadcrumb, which Groupon sold to Upserve in May (Upserve was formerly called Swipely), and Boston-based Toast, which raised $30 million in January.

Jeff Engel is a senior editor at Xconomy. Email: jengel@xconomy.com Follow @JeffEngelXcon

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