Building a point of sale service for big business, Appetize rings up $20 million

After getting its start in theme parks and event centers in Southern California, Appetize, the developer of point of sale technologies for big stadiums and college campuses, has raised $20 million to expand.

The new capital came from Shamrock Capital Advisors, which had served as the financial manager for the Walt Disney family for years, with additional support coming from Silicon Valley Bank.

The company’s payment technology has been used by convention centers, theme parks, chain stores, and arenas and stadiums since its launch in 2011.

Now, from headquarters in Playa Vista, Calif. (part of greater Los Angeles), the company employs roughly 200 people and has partnered with leading payment processors to get its software enabled payment devices in front of hundreds of vendors.

While most point of sale solutions have focused on small and medium sized businesses, from the outset, Appetize has gone after the very largest customers, according to the company’s chief strategy officer, Kevin Anderson.

Clients include Live Nation, Ole Miss University, Aramark, Madison Square Garden, and other venues.

“Appetize’s cloud-based point-of- sale solution has been integral in improving the fan experience, and in particular, improving wait times in concession and merchandise lines,” said Andrew Howard, Partner at Shamrock Capital, in a statement.  “Our additional investment will be used to further enhance the Appetize technology platform, enabling venue operators to have increased data and analytics capabilities as well as inventory controls, which has consistently proven to drive significant revenue uplift.”

The company’s software was built with big business in mind from the outset. Integrating with big supply chain management and ordering systems, while at the same time providing payment processing and mobile ordering services for the big crowds that vendors face on game day or around events, Anderson said.

Appetize is part of a growing contingent of Los Angeles based companies tackling the staid (but lucrative) enterprise software market. Point of sale solutions are about as far as you can get from the klieg lights of Hollywood or the advertising businesses that make the entertainment world run, yet their an increasingly large part of the Los Angeles tech ecosystem.

Beyond building brands and building dreams, Los Angeles is increasingly becoming a place where entrepreneurs are building real businesses focused on servicing the multi-billion dollar industries that survive and thrive beyond the shadow of the Hollywood sign.

As the Los Angeles ecosystem continues to gain steam, expect to see more deals that focus on Oscar in the  human resources department or IT or accounting rather than “Oscar” the statuette.