Serve Robotics Files to Go Public
Grubhub + Sonesta, Lyft's limping listing, ItsaCheckmate hits 300M
Ding ding ding, can you hear the stock market bells a-ringing? The folks at Serve Robotics sure can, as they just filed the paperwork to go public via an alternative public offering, a first for the delivery robotics industry. We’ve got plenty more big news to digest as well; do read on for some McDonald’s fun facts!
Serve Files to Be First Publicly Listed Delivery Bot
Grubhub & Sonesta Bring Delivery to Hotels
Chart Time | Lyft Languishes on Q2 Improvements
ItsaCheckmate Hits Milestone in Fee-Averse Industry
Fun Fact | McDonald’s Famous Cameos
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ROBOTICS | Uber-Backed Delivery Bot Startup Serve Files to Go Public
Sidewalk food delivery robotics startup Serve has filed to go public, as it looks to cash in on a market that’s rewarming to food and tech stocks. The financing vehicle is an alternative public offering, whereby Serve reverse merges into Patricia Acquisition Corp, after having just finished raising a fresh $30M from Uber, Nvidia, Wavemaker Partners, Mark Tompkins and Republic Deal Room. Uber holds a 16.2% stake and has seen its VP of Delivery, Sarfraz Maredia, join Serve’s board.
The Big Picture: Unlike a SPAC, this form of alternative IPO doesn’t involve an injection of cash from the existing blank check company, nor do execs have to worry about shareholder redemptions. But it does offer liquidity to the existing shareholders, which could include crowd-funders that topped up the company earlier this year. In a note to our publication, Serve Co-Founder & CEO Ali Kashani added “Having Uber, our largest enterprise partner, increase their investment and join our board feels like a vote of confidence after 18 months of 30%+ month-over-month growth.”
3PD | Grubhub & Sonesta Check-in to Hotel Delivery
Grubhub and Sonesta International Hotel Corporation are bringing food ordering and delivery to over 120 Extended Stay Suites and Simply Suites hotels, nationwide. As part of the partnership, hotel guests will also get two free months of Grubhub+, the Just Eat Takeaway-owned delivery firm’s premium loyalty program.
The Big Picture: For Sonesta, this is an easy way to add more food service to its two lower-end extended-stay / apartment-style hotel options; these two flags offer in-room kitchens but generally lack on-site dining options. For Grubhub, it’s another clever way to expand the company’s footprint, and get more customers onto its sticky subscription service, without going head-to-head against its better capitalized rivals. Sonesta has 1,200 properties across its 17 brands, so if this partnership expands further, it could be a lot more material than say in-stadium ordering. Grubhub has inked a similar arrangement with Hilton’s Homewood Suites as well as IHG, while DoorDash has partnered with Wyndham and Uber has teamed up with Marriott Bonvoy.
CHART TIME | Lyft Trim Losses, Market Groans
Lyft recently announced its Q2 results, with its net loss just about halving year over year, to -$114.3 million, on revenue of $1.021 billion. Ever since the company shut down its modest delivery ambitions in early Q1, it’s inched closer and closer to breaking even. While the company’s stock initially popped off the news, it quickly trended downwards, as investors digested CEO David Risher’s comment that he wants to “get rid of” surge pricing, which could impact margins going forward. With shares now languishing under $11, Risher will need to pull a lot more levers to get it up to the magical $15 price where his incentive-based pay really starts to kick in.
ORDERING | ItsaCheckmate Hits 300 Million Orders
Payment, ordering and menu-tech startup ItsaCheckmate celebrated a big milestone: its processed over 300 million restaurant orders, representing $8 billion in sales transactions. Seems like things are speeding up, as the company hit 200 million orders just last November. Evidently recent moves like its rapid onboarding partnership with DoorDash, and the launch of easy reconciling tools, is driving adoption.
The Big Picture: Smaller players like ItsaCheckmate are having a moment, as they get to be the little guy nipping at the heels of giants like Toast and Clover, which have received a lot of flack for sneaking fees on to restaurateurs and diners alike. Operators are also trying to flail their way out of “tablet hell” — opening the door for anyone who can integrate multiple tools into one simple dashboard. Other players to keep an eye on include Chowly, Orderbyte (disclosure: a partner,) Deliverect and Vromo.
FUN FACT | McDonald’s Famous Cameos
We’re throwing in a bonus section today, as McDonald’s launches its “As Featured In Meal” — a celebration of the iconic brand’s many cameos across pop culture. Next week the Golden Arches will be dropping some related streetwear at its first location in the SoCal town of Downey; will it be worth braving the lines alongside all the hungry hypebeasts?
A Few Good Links
Dublin, Ireland launches three projects to boost use of e-cargo bikes. Jack in the Box earnings up 27.6%; Wendy’s rises 23.7%. Lunchbox welcomes new Chief Strategy Officer, Erle Dardick, as it pushes into catering. Hot Dog on a Stick bringing 10 locations to Iraq, guess freedom truly prevailed… VinFast SPAC approved. El Pollo Loco adopts poison pill to block Sardar Biglari, investor who previously ran Maxim into the ground (but had better luck with Cracker Barrel and Steak ‘n Shake.) Jack in the Box and Wendy’s see improved staffing letting them push deeper into late-night. Carl’s Jr. giving away back-to-school backpacks in Utah. Wisconsin regulators look to require restaurateur opt-in before 3PDs can list on marketplaces.
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