Zesty, an online service that aims to bring fine catering right to the office, recently announced the close of a $17 million Series A round led by Index Ventures with participation from Founders Fund and previous investor Forerunner Ventures.
The company will use this new funding to expand its services beyond the bounds of San Francisco to many of the other business-centric locations in the Bay Area. The company also intends to more than double its current team of 30 during the next year.
Founded in 2013 by Oxford mathematicians David Langer and Chirs Hollindale, the company is setting the bar, and table, pretty high for food delivery services.
In 2014, Zesty launched a mobile app providing users with a list of healthy restaurant and delivery service options nearby. Some participating restaurants even provided specially-designed healthier dishes for app users.
After the success of its app, Zesty set its sights on improving the food options available to San Francisco’s workforce, a notoriously busy bunch that often relies on takeout to stay fueled throughout the day.
Index Ventures’ participation in the round follows its recent pattern of scooping up companies geared toward making health, wellness, and good food more accessible and convenient for the busy consumer. Its portfolio includes Abe’s Market, a Chicago-based online natural products retailer, and Blue Bottle Coffee, a bicoastal company offering high-end coffee products that have gained substantial popularity since its launch.
And Zesty certainly ticks many health and wellness boxes by offering busy workers and supervisors an easy way to help their employees eat healthily. Users can log onto Zesty’s online platform and create an account. Then, one of Zesty’s in-house dieticians will conduct an initial consultation to find out the specific dietary needs of the group, each employee’s budget and the number of employees. Using this information, Zesty searches its database of custom and curated dishes to design the optimal menu for the company.
Behind the scenes, Zesty’s dieticians search for the healthiest and most nutritional options and Zesty works with local purveyors to ensure the quality of the meals it totes around town. In some cases, Zesty works with a restaurant or food service to create a healthier version of a popular dish, or develops off-menu items specifically for Zesty patrons. The database features some of the most popular and eclectic fare that San Francisco’s robust culinary scene has to offer.
Once the menu is set, Zesty’s team of so-called Catering Captains will then deliver, set up and serve meals to staff. Each dish comes labeled with the nutrition facts.
Although the program sounds like something solely for the business elite, Langer has made it clear that Zesty will work with any office budget to find a menu that meets their needs. Current Zesty clients include Scribd, Homejoy, AngelList, Instacart, and many other big name San Francisco startups. Since launching the corporate catering service, Zesty’s revenues have continued to make big leaps.
Through its office catering service, Zesty hopes to achieve some major improvements in Americans’ health: “By creating a more reliable, delicious, and all-around superior catering experience that is also very affordable, Zesty offers something all companies want,” reads the website.
In in its funding announcement, the San Francisco-based company provided some startling figures regarding the average health of the US and the associated healthcare costs:
“To illustrate how serious the problem is today: 75 percent of American men and 67 percent of American women aged 25-54 are now overweight and this is up from 63 percent and 55 percent respectively, 20 years ago. This costs America $190 billion each year in obesity-related healthcare treatment, or 5 percent of the $3.8 trillion federal budget. On top of this, obesity-related sub-par productivity and absenteeism costs the American workforce an estimated $65 billion each year.”
Zesty’s Series A round follows a $3.7M seed funding round with Y Combinator, SV Angel, and other angel investors.
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