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Tick and Tock on the clock

Tick and Tock on the clock
August 4 2020

If you are a self-proclaimed “foodie” like so many urbanites, you have likely heard about or have dined in Alinea, a Michelin 3-start acclaimed restaurant in Chicago, or one of the many restaurants it owns in other major cities.

You might wonder how the business is doing right now? Thriving and never been better, thank you for asking.

The fine-dining destination is using its own technology, called Tock, to push out a weekly pickup menu. Up first, a three-course menu that includes beef short rib wellington, 50-50 mashed potatoes, and crème brûlée. The kicker: They're charging just $34.95 per person. It's no 15-course Alinea menu with edible balloons, but the decrease in price has pulled in many more diners. Alinea’s profit is said to have increased during the COVID lockdown because of the increase in total customers.

Not only is the affordable menu a step in the right direction for Alinea, but Tock has also played a big role in diversifying the business. Tock focuses on take-outs for high-end restaurants and is now stirring up nostalgia in people who cannot wait to return or try high-end dining for the first time. While reservations giant OpenTable is cutting staff, and restaurant software vendor Toast said last month that it’s reducing headcount by 50%, Tock just raised $10M in venture funding. The six-year-old company in Chicago is helping high-end eateries transition to takeout.

Tock, which has about 100 employees, processed $350M in transactions last year by selling prepaid reservations to customers for high-end restaurants. When the coronavirus hit, Tock quickly adapted the business to focus on takeout orders. Within the next month or two, the company will be on pace to process $1B in orders annually.

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Alternative Restaurant Platforms:

Based in San Francisco, Plate IQ is a leader in cloud-based AP automation tools for the restaurant industry. Plate IQ’s proprietary optical character recognition and machine learning technology fully eliminates manual data entry by accountants, helping restaurants optimize their operations, unlock actionable expense data, and reduce costs – all through automation. Today, having processed more than $10B in invoices, Plate IQ works with some of the biggest names in the food and hospitality industries.

Zuul supports its restaurant partners with a range of operational and strategic services to de-risk restaurant expansion and optimizes for delivery. The company's mission is to help people thrive in the business of food. Zuul's kitchens are optimized for delivery-only operations. This model enables brands to expand their market share without the high risk and structural costs of investing in real estate and front-of-house operating overhead. Zuul provides a scalable, plug-and-play infrastructure around its kitchens, including onsite operational support and a proprietary digital marketplace to support demand generation. The comprehensive suite of services extends the delivery capabilities of restaurants and virtual brands.

BentoBox empowers restaurants to own their presence, profits, and relationships. The hospitality platform disrupts third-party services that come between the restaurant and the guest. BentoBox puts the restaurant first and offers tools that drive high-margin revenue directly through the restaurant's website. BentoBox is trusted and loved by over 5,000 restaurants worldwide including Union Square Hospitality Group, Eleven Madison Park, José Andrés' Think Food Group, Manresa, Dominique Crenn Dining Group and H-Town Hospitality (Hugo's, Xochi).

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Since last week, PrivCo has added:
1,407 Updated Companies | 189 M&A Deals185 Funding Activities

Funding & Deal Highlights:

San Mateo-based Helix is on the receiving end of $33M in federal funding as a result. Helix is a health tech startup founded in 2015 that focuses on insights derived from personal genomics, but the company has also developed a COVID-19 test that detects the presence of SARS-CoV-2 using RT-PCR methods.

Autonomous vehicle technology startup Argo AI is valued at $7.5B, just a little more than three years after the company burst on the scene with a $1B investment from Ford.

Interest in telemedicine continues to increase, and Lemonaid Health raises an oversubscribed $33M Series B round of funding to develop its on-demand platform for accessing health care online.

ESSA Pharma Inc., a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on developing novel therapies for the treatment of prostate cancer, announces the closing of an underwritten public offering of 7,100,000 common shares of the Company at a public offering price of US$6.00 per share, before underwriting discounts, for an aggregate offering of approximately US$42.6M.

PAI Partners has entered into exclusive negotiations with a view to acquiring a majority stake in Amplitude Surgical, a French leader on the global surgical technology market for lower-limb orthopedics.

Thyssenkrupp closes the 17.2B euro ($20.4B) sale of its elevator division to private equity firms, giving the conglomerate a cash lifeline but robbing it of its best asset.

Pier 1 Imports heads to the web. The bankrupt home goods retailer — which revealed in May it was closing all of its 540 stores nationwide after 58 years in business — sells the rights to its brand for $20M to Retail ECommerce Ventures, a firm that bought the Dressbarn brand last year.

Hightower announces it has made a strategic investment in Frontier Investment Management, a Dallas-based wealth advisory business with nine offices throughout the United States. Frontier, which serves individuals, families, and corporations, will leverage Hightower's middle- and back-office operations, business consulting, and supportive community to grow and scale their business.

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