It was my birthday this past weekend, so my girlfriend and I went out to a fancy Italian restaurant to celebrate. The food was excellent, but by the tim we finishes were in there for almost two hours. I would have been just as happy eating the same food at home, watching a movie together. Sure, atmosphere is nice, but convenience is better.
That is why I love the idea behind food delivery company Caviar: the company allows people to get delivery from estaurants that would, typically, not offer it. And now it is most certainly going to be expanding, since has been purchased by Mobile payments company Square. The acquisition was announced on Monday.
While no financial terms of the deal were officially disclosed, a report from ReCode this past weekend pegged it at around $90 million.
What sets Caviar apart from all other similar companies is that is a delivery service that focuses exclusively on premium food, meaning restaurants that normally would not have delivery service.
"Caviar’s mission is to provide access to the city’s best restaurants in the comfort of your home or office, enabled by technology," the company says on its website. "Browse a picture menu, customize your meal, and get delivery straight to your door. No minimums and no compromises."
So how does this fit into what Square is doing? Because the two companies share a vision of making commerce easy for both buyers and sellers, and giving them as many resouces as possible to help them grow.
Over 50,000 restaurants currently use square’s register service. The company also provides them with inventory tracking, Offline Mode, and Square Order, an app launched in May that allows users to order food in advance from cafes and restaurants and then pick them up without having to wait in line.
By purchasing Caviar, Square will it give its clients a way to drive additional revenue by bringing in new customers, while, at the same time, giving consumers access to top-rated, popular restaurants through a curated marketplace.
"With the acquisition, Square deepens its commitment to providing independent sellers with services that make it easier for them to grow their business," said Square in the press release.
For Caviar, getting the resources of Square behind it will allow it to expand its reach, and develop new features.
"Our ultimate vision aligns with Square’s: to provide local merchants with the best tools to grow and sustain their businesses," said Jason Wang, co-Founder and CEO of Caviar, in a separate blog post. "Delivery is no doubt an important component of helping a business drive additional revenue, and we’ll work hard to create new and exciting features for everyone."
For the time being, Square and Caviar will operate separately, Wang made clear in a Q&A.
"Everything you love about our product and service will remain the same," he said.
Founded in 2012, Caviar currently operates in Boston, Chicago, New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C. The company had raised $15 million from investors that included Mixt Greens, Paul Buchheit, Tiger Global Management, Ironfire Capital, Winklevoss Capital and Andreessen Horowitz.
This is Square's second acquisition this year after it purchased BookFresh, a company that provides appointment-booking tools, in February.
(Image source: blog.trycaviar.com)