Vancouver startup Foodee raises $6m, pushes for 10-city North American expansion

A Vancouver tech startup wants to fill the bellies of office workers in at least 10 more North American cities after raising $6 million in ...
Foodee CEO Ryan Spong (left) co-owns Tacofino, which delivers food to offices through an online ordering service | Photo: Chung Chow

A Vancouver tech startup wants to fill the bellies of office workers in at least 10 more North American cities after raising $6 million in venture capital.

While Foodee already provides its online lunch delivery service to offices in Vancouver and Toronto, CEO Ryan Spong said capital from this latest funding round in going to focus on expansion in the U.S.

The first two cities included in the expansion plans are Minneapolis and Atlanta. Spong said there is the potential to add one more city by the end of the first quarter, while the goal is to expand to a total of 10 new cities by year’s end.

Calgary and Ottawa were originally in the cards for expansion but Spong said the oil shock put those plans on hold.

And after examining the market potential in Ottawa, Foodee determined there were not enough corporate clients in the nation’s capital.

“The trick with Ottawa is that it’s largely government and government is one of the verticals we typically shy away from,” Spong said.

Instead, the 10-city expansion would continue to focus on U.S. markets after Foodee launched last year in Austin, Denver and Philadelphia.

The funding round was led by BDC Capital, which cut a cheque for $3 million. The results of the funding round were made public Wednesday (February 3) but Spong said the round closed on Christmas Eve 2015.

“We will be spending some of this money on improved coverage in our existing market,” Spong said.

Toronto will be adding more account managers to its local office while Foodee will also boost its workforce at its own headquarters.

“We’re investing heavily in the Vancouver office in terms of the developers and then also the call centre here,” Spong said.

Foodee’s software development team has doubled from four to eight people since November and the company plans to boost its size to about a dozen developers by mid-year.

Meanwhile, Spong said the total workforce would grow from 60 to 90 people by the end of 2016.

Foodee specifically targets corporate clients, as opposed to individual consumers, looking to do away with pizza parties and other fast foods at lunch.

In Vancouver, Foodee has partnered with restaurants like Calabash, Banana Leaf, Biercraft and Tacofino — the last of which Spong co-owns — to process orders made during non-peak hours.

The restaurants then prepare the food before the lunch-hour rush begins.

torton@biv.com

@reporton

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