Signaling tough times ahead, ChowNow lays off employees – TechCrunch

ChowNow, A startup that builds branded online ordering systems for restaurants, today announced an internal layoff, TechCrunch has learned. According to several sources who spoke to this reporter on anonymous terms, about 100 people were affected across teams, including joining, operations and sales.

ChowNow did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

ChowNow was launched in 2010 as a way for founder and CEO Chris Webb and friends to easily order delivery and pick-up from smaller restaurants without an online presence.

ChowNow takes care of payments and deliveries through agreements with companies like DoorDash and local delivery startups like Jolt Delivery in Los Angeles. It also provides discovery and marketing services, such as collaborating with Instagram to make photos and stories from restaurants available for purchase by adding “order food” buttons and stickers to photos and videos of restaurants.

The Playa Vista-based company is positioning itself as a more user-friendly alternative to role-players like GrubHub and UberEats, charging a monthly fee instead of the commissions typical of food delivery businesses. ChowNow also ensures that restaurants on its platform maintain their own customer data for marketing and insights.

As of 2019, ChowNow claimed to have more than 11,000 restaurant customers across North America that generated $ 1 billion in revenue together through its platform. ChowNow has raised $ 64 million in venture capital to date, most recently a $ 21 million series C series in 2019 led by 3L Capital and Catalyst Investors.

Anti-economic winds have hit hard in the online food ordering field as investors retreat from what they perceive as capital-intensive gambling. DoorDash recently shut down Chowbotics, a startup robot for salads, just a year after acquiring the company for an undisclosed amount. Elsewhere, Gopuff “immediate” shipping company announced this week that it would cut 10 percent of its global workforce – about 1,500 workers – and close 76 of its U.S. warehouses.

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