Global investment firm KKR is betting on the pizza business — it just led a $43 million Series C investment in Slice.
Formerly known as MyPizza, Slice has created a mobile app and website where diners can order a custom pizza delivery from their local, independent pizzeria.
And for those pizzerias, CEO Ilir Sela said Slice helps to digitize their whole business by also creating a website, improving their SEO and even allowing them to benefit from the “economies of scale” of the larger network, through bulk orders of supplies like pizza boxes.
Sela contrasted his company’s approach with other popular food delivery apps that he characterized as aggregators. For one thing, Slice “anchors” your favorite pizzerias in the app, giving them the top spots and making it easy to place your regular order with just a few taps. And it will be adding more loyalty features soon.
“Our job is to make loyal customers even more loyal,” he said.
In addition, while services like Grubhub have faced criticism for their steep fees, Sela said Slice’s fee is capped at $2.25 per order, allowing pizzerias to get all the upside from large orders.
Of course, the environment for restaurants has changed dramatically in the last few months, thanks to COVID-19. But most pizzerias are already set up for takeout and delivery, and Sela said that more than 90% of the 12,000-plus pizzerias that work with Slice have stayed open.
He also pointed to the company’s Pizza vs Pandemic initiative, which raises funds for pizzerias to feed healthcare workers. The program has raised more than $470,000 and fed an estimated 140,000 workers.
“Local independent pizzerias have been feeding Americans across communities for decades and we are excited to put our resources behind Slice as they help to move these businesses online,” said KKR Principal Allan Jean-Baptiste in a statement. “Slice charges small business owners a fraction of the fees charged by food delivery apps and offers a suite of vertical specific solutions to solve the challenges faced by independent pizza makers.”
Slice had previously raised $30 million, according to Crunchbase. Sela said he’ll be using the new funding to bring on more pizzerias and continue building a “vertically integrated solution for the small businesses, in order to solve more and more of their challenges.”