Coca-Cola was the lead investor in a $10 million Series A funding round for Omnivore, a Hayward, CA-based company that aims to make digital restaurant commerce agile and affordable through technology.
Omnivore offers a universal point-of-sale connectivity platform that allows hundreds of third-party technologies to integrate seamlessly. It calls itself the “industry standard for POS integration.”
“We clearly understand that the growth in the restaurant and hospitality industry is pinned to consumer and staff expectations of technology and how they use it, very similar to what happened with the travel, lodging, and retail industries,” Mike Wior, Omnivore’s CEO, said. “We’ve enjoyed playing a role enabling innovation and integration in all restaurant technology categories such as online ordering, third-party delivery, pay at the table, loyalty, and labor.”
The company was founded by Wior with the mindset that there must be an easier way to connect restaurants to technology. That proved to be somewhat of a challenge with the numerous POS systems utilized worldwide, not to mention the time and resources technology companies were spending to connect to them.
Brita Rosenheim from The Mixing Bowl wrote in a recent article about restaurant tech that siloed data remains a limitation for restaurants to use the data they are collecting about their customers.
“While the restaurant industry has laid the digital foundation for transactions and data capture, a significant portion of that data still remains silo-ed across separate systems. Thus while operators are now better able to measure and manage the “what” and the “why” related to operational efficiencies, they are often still limited in their ability to truly leverage those insights to optimize or automate efforts based on that intelligence,” she wrote in a Forbes article.
In 2013 Omnivore released its API, allowing easy connection to all of these systems with one central point. Four years later, the company introduced the Omnivore Marketplace, allowing restaurants to connect and activate technologies to improve their businesses, including online ordering, payment, labor and more.
The Series A financing will be utilized to accelerate current development and growth of proprietary Omnivore products that minimize friction for restaurant brands, third-party technologies, and POS companies.
According to Wior, Omnivore will use the funds to complement its universal API with two platforms; data warehousing and central menu management. Each is currently being designed to help unleash restaurant brands’ abilities to analyze and execute at a faster pace and with less friction and expense.
Additionally, the Omnivore data product will address the ongoing question of “whose data is it?” by enabling restaurants to access, distribute and leverage their data more efficiently.
Andy McMillin, Coca-Cola North America’s CMO, national foodservice & on-premise marketing, said the company seeks out promising innovation, insights, and technology that will create new value for the industry and better serve future consumers.
“Omnivore’s universal API, centralized menu management solution, data warehousing solution, and marketplace of technologies, facilitate the agility to experiment, optimize challenges and execute even faster,” he said.
Other investors in the Series A include Performance Food Group (PFG) and Jeff Vinik, owner of the National Hockey League’s Tampa Bay Lightning. Additionally, follow-on investors from previous rounds also contributed.
“PFG continues to leverage data and consumer insights to add value to our restaurant customers,” Jim Hope, PFG’s executive vice president & chief financial officer, said. “Our new partnership with Omnivore will enable our customers to gain better access to their data, while taking meaningful technologies to our customers that address opportunities to enhance the customer experience.”
Among Omnivore’s investors and advisors are Chris Sullivan, founder of Outback Steakhouse; Lee Arnold, executive chairman of Colliers International, Florida; and Manny Fernandez, lead independent director of Brunswick Corp., and chairman of governance at Time, Inc.