Saskatoon-based retail software startup 7shifts has raised US $ 21.5 million (C $ 25.9 million) in Series B funding as the company seeks to scale its platform form of workforce management in restaurants to meet the needs of restaurants as they prepare for the post-pandemic world.
The cycle was led by New York-based growth equity fund Enlightened Hospitality Investments (EHI). It also involved the participation of existing investors from 7shifts, Ten Coves Capital, Relay Ventures and Conexus Venture Capital.
“As the industry rebuilds itself, there has never been a more important time for restaurants to have more visibility in the workforce. “
EHI is affiliated with Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG), the company behind Gramercy Tavern and Union Square Cafe. This new funding follows the recent implementation by the USHG of the 7shifts platform in its portfolio of restaurants, cafes and bars. 7shifts plans to use the new capital to continue to grow their team and invest in product development. As part of this round, EHI will join the 7shifts board of directors.
“As the industry rebuilds itself, there has never been a more important time for restaurants to have more visibility into the workforce to improve performance and long-term profitability,” said Jordan Boesch, CEO of 7shifts.
“Engaging with restaurant staff through reliable, data-driven shift planning will be critical in delivering meaningful job satisfaction while controlling costs, improving performance and replenishing bottom line,” added Boesch.
Created in 2014, the 7shifts software aims to simplify personnel management “one team at a time”. The Saskatchewan startup, which has offices in Toronto and New Jersey, provides a job planning and administration platform for restaurants. 7shifts currently serves over 500,000 foodservice professionals at 18,000 locations around the world in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Australia.
7shifts raised approximately C $ 21 million in Series A funding in 2019, including a C $ 13 million first round in January and a C $ 7.9 million extension in October.
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The startup had initially planned to mount its B Series last March. But, when COVID-19 hit and restaurants were forced to close due to public health concerns, 7shifts had to put those plans on hold and was forced to put 40 of its 160 employees on leave. Boesch told BetaKit 7shifts raised around C $ 10 million in a bridge round in June from its existing investors to “deal with the [pandemic] storm ”and make sure he had the trail to continue to grow and build.
With 85% of its customers based in the United States (US), 7shifts was well positioned to ride the wave of reopening across the United States. Boesch said the company’s revenue had returned to pre-pandemic levels in September.
“What we started to see, as we were able to bring back people that we previously had to put on leave, we saw the industry come back to life, really, at the very end of 2020,” Boesch said.
According to 7shifts, the startup recently experienced “a record onboarding of new customers” as restaurants seek to simplify team management and increase profitability. The company has called this process “even more critical,” both during COVID-19 and as businesses begin to recover from the pandemic.
Boesch said that for every month of 2021 so far, 7shifts has seen a record number of new restaurant customer registrations, adding that May is currently on track to beat April.
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The CEO called 7shifts “very well positioned” for the future given the growth of the startup and the increased focus of the restaurant industry on employee engagement, retention and exploitation of technology. .
“The restaurant and hospitality industry is on the cusp of one of the greatest periods of growth and hiring we have ever seen, and having the right technology to handle this process will be critical. to be successful, ”said Danny Meyer, Founder and CEO of USHG and Co-Founder and Managing Partner of EHI.
7shifts currently has 150 employees and plans to add 20 more in roles such as partnerships, sales, marketing and customer success.
UPDATE (5/25/21): This article has been updated with comments from 7shifts CEO Jordan Boesch.
Photo of CEO Jordan Boesch, courtesy of 7shifts