Appetize raises $20 million to speed up concessions lines

L.A. Biz Journal

A Silicon Beach startup has proved an appetizing investment for a couple of local private equity funds.

Appetize has raised $20 million in funding from Los Angeles-based Shamrock Capital Advisors. L.A.’s Oak View Group, a global advisory, development and investment company for the sports and live entertainment industries, also participated in the round, along with follow-on capital from several current investors.

The company will use the money to increase its team to more than 150 employees at its headquarters in the L.A. neighborhood of Playa Vista as well as its offices in New York and Atlanta.

Appetize offers a next-generation point-of-sale platform that aims to decrease transaction times through a faster, easier-to-use front-end interface, as well as back-end inventory, reporting and menu management. The company now works with more than 400 venues, including the L.A. Coliseum, Madison Square Garden, the new U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis, and Citi Field, home of the New York Mets.

The five-year-old company has deployed more than 17,000 units and processed more than $1 billion in transactions in 2016.

“We have built Appetize with the enterprise client and scalability in mind, and now with this partnership of Shamrock Capital and Oak View Group, Appetize is positioned extremely well for continued, long-term success,” said co-founder and CEO Max Roper in a statement.

Going forward, the startup is focusing on multi-site enterprise clients including entertainment venues, convention centers, business dining and university campuses, theme parks, and travel and leisure, among others.

“Point of purchase as it relates to overall guest experience is a pivotal area of focus for our industry,” said Oak View founder and CEO Tim Leiweke, adding that Appetize “creates impactful business efficiencies for facility operators while also giving the fans an elevated and far more convenient way of making purchases during their favorite live events.”

“We see Appetize’s combination of explosive growth, differentiated enterprise platform and market leadership as a strong indication of what the future holds for the POS sector,” added Shamrock partner Andy Howard. “[The Appetize team has] built the most robust POS platform for enterprise businesses, enabling their clients to see an immediate ROI by giving them real-time access to data and analytics to make game-day decisions.”

Howard and fellow Shamrock partner Alan Resnikoff have joined Appetize’s board, with Leiweke on as well as an observer.