Food delivery startup Slice bags $43M Series C funding to let you order pizza delivery from the best independent pizzerias near you
The easiest and simplest way to support local businesses is to buy from them. Sometimes, it is a challenge to find the right business to buy from. Local pizzerias have long been at the heart of our communities, but they lack the resources to compete with large chains for today’s digitally-minded consumers. Enter Slice, a New York City-based food delivery startup that makes it easy order pickup and delivery from the best independent pizzerias near you. Slice’s platform of services powers the online discovery and ordering for these small businesses and connects them to a large network of new and existing customers who enjoy a frictionless experience through the Slice app and website.
Today, Slice announced that it has raised $43 million in Series C funding to continue improving Slice’s platform to empower more independent pizza shops around the world. The round was led by KKR, with participation from existing early investors, including GGV Capital.
Founded in 2009 by Ilir Sela, Slice transforms independent pizzerias with the specialized technology, data insights, loyalty marketing, and shared services they need to serve today’s digital-minded customers. Ilir Sela started Slice to solve the digital challenges of his family’s New York City pizzerias. Today, the company partners with over 12,000 pizzerias across all 50 states forming the nation’s largest marketplace for authentic pizza.
The united network of pizzerias enables these small businesses to thrive against major corporate chains and form the nation’s largest marketplace for authentic pizza. Slice makes it easy for customers to order from their go-to shops and discover their next favorite.
“Being able to drive business online is now essential to the success of local restaurants and this new funding will allow us to continue improving Slice’s platform to empower more independent pizza shops around the world,” said Ilir Sela, founder and CEO of Slice. “We are excited to welcome KKR as a new investor and look forward to working alongside their team who brings decades of experience building leading global companies.”
Jake Heller, Co-head of KKR’s Technology Growth team in the Americas, said: “Our goal is to assemble a portfolio of world class entrepreneurs and management teams and then work as hard as we can to support them. We’ve been incredibly impressed by Ilir and the team that he has attracted to Slice, as well as the remarkable growth and scale they have achieved over the last few years. We believe in their mission to bring unprecedented value to the unique community of independent pizza owners around the world, and we’re eager to leverage KKR’s global platform in that endeavor.”
“Small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) are the lifeblood of the American economy,” said Jeff Richards, managing partner at GGV Capital and Slice board member. “Along the lines of what highly impactful companies like Square, Wix and Shopify have done for SMB’s, Slice is building the next great SMBTech platform for independent merchants in the pizza industry. We are thrilled to be part of the journey with Ilir and the team at Slice.”
Slice provides end-to-end services including websites, marketing, online ordering, and payments to help local pizzerias provide customers with a digital experience that competes with the largest international pizza chains and food delivery apps. Slice also offers access to its nearly five million customers who want great, local pizza through its app.
“Now more than ever, it is critical that we support local businesses in these volatile times. Local independent pizzerias have been feeding Americans across communities for decades and we are excited to put our resources behind Slice as they help to move these businesses online,” said Allan Jean-Baptiste, Principal at KKR. “Slice charges small business owners a fraction of the fees charged by food delivery apps and offers a suite of vertical specific solutions to solve the challenges faced by independent pizza makers. Slice provides easy to use technology and value to consumers by enabling access to local, high quality food.”
“We started Slice because we believe independent pizza makers are an essential part of our local communities,” said Ilir. “This has never been more apparent than over the past few months as nearly half a million dollars has been donated to not only drive more sales for small businesses, but also feed hundreds of thousands of care workers across the country through our Pizza vs. Pandemic initiative. The COVID-19 pandemic has also caused a significant surge in demand across our platform and we are focused on providing our pizzeria partners with the resources they need to access online sales channels at a time when in-restaurant demand has reduced significantly.”