Restaurant Tech Company Olo Files to Go Public

Restaurant SaaS platform Olo filed its S-1 prospectus with the SEC late Friday and hopes to raise $100 million in an initial public offering. A representative for Olo confirmed this news to The Spoon today.

Olo is best known for its software platform that consolidates digital orders coming from different channels (web, kiosk, mobile, etc.) into a single ticket stream for the restaurant. Founded in 2005 in NYC, It was one of the original companies to help restaurants eradicate the so-called “tablet hell” scenario for restaurants. Prior to companies like Olo, staffers would have to manually input information from, say, the tablet processing Grubhub orders into the restaurant’s main POS system. 

The company has added its Dispatch service, which helps restaurants process delivery orders from their own websites and mobile apps. Another service, Rails, helps restaurants manage their relationships with third-party delivery providers, including negotiating a restaurant’s preferred providers and pricing strategy.

“Consumers today expect more on-demand convenience and personalization from restaurants, particularly through digital channels, but many restaurants lack the in-house infrastructure and expertise to satisfy this increasing demand in a cost-effective manner,” states the S-1 filing. “Our platform and application programming interfaces, or APIs, seamlessly integrate with a wide range of solutions, unifying disparate technologies across the restaurant ecosystem.” 

The Olo platform is specifically suited to restaurant brands with multiple locations. Among the companies customers are Five Guys, Wing Stop, Shake Shack, Denny’s, The Cheesecake Factory, Jamba Juice, Dairy Queen, and many others well-known names in the restaurant biz.

The COVID-19 pandemic, of course, has only heightened the urgency for restaurants to organize their off-premises orders (takeout, delivery, drive-thru, etc.) to increase the speed and efficiency at which those can be fulfilled. Olo said in its S-1 filing that in response, the company “reprioritized” its strategic roadmap “to address the most important solutions for [its] customers.” Notably, that has included takeout and curbside options.

Currently, Olo works with about 64,000 individual restaurant units across 400 brands. In its filing, Olo said it processed $14.6 billion in gross merchandise value in 2020.

This is the second major piece of news around restaurant tech IPOs today. Earlier this morning, the Wall Street Journal noted that restaurant-management platform Toast could go public in 2021 with a $20 billion valuation. 

For Olo, no price or timeline has been set as of right now. 

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