An 11-year-old salad chain valued at a billion dollars? Surely nothing will go wrong here.
— Erika Adams
The whispers swirling around Sweetgreen’s latest funding round have been confirmed: the emerging restaurant chain has secured a $200 million round of funding led by Fidelity Investments, bringing the total amount of funding raised to $325 million and bumping the chain to a valuation of over $1 billion.
Sweetgreen plans to pour the money into expansion on every front. The funding will fuel restaurant growth in new and existing markets, more personalized software initiatives to better serve off-premise customers (Sweetgreen noted that nearly 50 percent of customer orders are processed through its app or online), and further investment in Sweetgreen’s supply chain transparency through blockchain.
The salad chain also plans to expand its Outpost program, which provides free food delivery at partner offices, and increase efforts to get Sweetgreen in school cafeterias.
“As a company we are focused on democratizing real food,” Jonathan Neman co-founder and CEO of Sweetgreen, said in a statement on the news. “Our vision is to evolve from a restaurant company to a food platform that builds healthier communities around the world.”
With $365 million in total funding and 90 locations, this latest round further separates Sweetgreen from its bowl-slinging competition in the market. Dig Inn has raised $51.5 million so far and operates 25 locations, Cava has raised $96 million and operates 73 locations, Honeygrow has raised $70 million and operates 29 locations (after recently closing a number of them), and &pizza has raised $25 million at this point. (Location count based on information from each company’s website, and includes open or assumed opening locations.)
Sweetgreen’s previous funding rounds have been led by T. Rowe Price and Revolution Growth, and have included participation from restaurateur Danny Meyer and chef Daniel Boulud. The salad chain has been in operation for 11 years.