TouchBistro is on the up-and-up

Toronto-based TouchBistro, a software provider for restaurants, is breezing through a market downtown that has left venture capitalists holding their dollars verrry close to their chest.  

But not that close… the company closed a $150 million fundraising round with venture capital firm Francisco Partners, which is not only one of the biggest seen in Canadian tech this year but included multiple investors all competing for a slice of the TouchBistro pie. 

  • If a waiter is punching in your order on a tablet, chances are they’re using TouchBistro. The company also creates tools for kitchens and managers. 

Catch up: TouchBistro barely made it through the pandemic. The company was exploring a buyout after losing 10% of its restaurant clients (and providing free relief to many more), which led to layoffs and the introduction of costly features to help restaurants stay afloat. 

  • Under new leadership in 2021, the business began targeting bigger, stabler  restaurants and groups with multiple locations and focused on US expansion.

Why it matters: Turns out, funding has not dried out completely, but there is less of it, and more of what is available will go to companies turning a profit now (rather than those promising windfalls sometime in the future, as companies like Uber and SpaceX did). 

  • Peter Christodoulo, a partner at Francisco, the company’s investor, says the firm is more interested in startups that “aren’t burning $100 million a year.”

Zoom out: Tech has been battered by falling valuations and rising rates. In the absence of free-flowing capital seen in 2021, companies are shifting from growth to profitability mode.