Swiggy employee delivers Burger King to customer in India. / Bloomberg Swiggy employee delivers Burger King to customer in India. / Bloomberg

December Restaurant Industry Funding: Food Delivery and Coffee Chains Score

It’s time to see what tech and restaurant companies received a few extra million dollars in their Christmas stockings from investors in December.

Last month’s slew of announced funding rounds by firms was highlighted by India food delivery startup Swiggy, which earned $1 billion in Series B funding. Stakeholders also showed particular interest in young coffee chains in Asia. Even a growing segment in the restaurant industry, robotic-based farming, drew repeat attention from the likes of Google Ventures.

Note: This is the second installment of Skift Table’s monthly tech-funding roundup. To view November’s list, click here.

Tech Vendors:


Amount Raised: $1 billion

Lead Investors: Naspers Ltd, Tencent Holdings Ltd, and Hillhouse Capital.

Skift Table Take: Swiggy is now valued at a little over $3 billion, and will use the seed funding to hire new staff and build on its technology. The announcement also triggered fellow India-based delivery company Zomato to seek its own $1 billion investment this week to counter Swiggy. Jealousy perhaps? Funding aside, both of these vendors are now additionally coping with new regulations passed by India’s Food and Safety Standards Authority (FSSAI) last week.

Woowa Brothers

Amount Raised: $320 million

Lead Investors: Hillhouse Capital, Sequoia Capital, and GIC.

Skift Table Take: The deal values the South Korean aggregator at $2.6 billion. Woowa said the money is earmarked for international expansion and building autonomous delivery robots. Newsflash: Humans will never trust machines. The tactic also sounds like a way to avoid paying employees living wages.


Amount Raised: $5.5 million

Lead Investors: Global Founders Capital and Elkstone.

Skift Table Take: Flipdish is a startup that helps independent restaurants and chains compete with aggregators by accepting delivery orders directly from customers with lower costs and more control over the customer experience. Can you say Darden Restaurants’ partnership?

Omnivore Technologies

Amount Raised: $10 million

Lead Investors: The Coca-Cola Company, Performance Food Group, and Jeff Vinik.

Skift Table Take: Omnivore attempts to tie together restaurants’ off-premise programs, loyalty programs, online ordering and payment, reservations, and labor management by integrating all of those vendors into a restaurant’s central point-of-sale system in a way in which operators can easily see and analyze data from every program that they use. Managing third-party services continues to be a large obstacle for owners, many of which understandably prefer simplicity in their partnerships.

Restaurant Chains:

Luckin Coffee

Amount Raised: $200 million

Lead Investors: GIC and China International Capital Corp.

Skift Table Take: Luckin Coffee is one of the notable coffee startups taking on Starbucks in China. Who doesn’t love an underdog, right? The problem is the company has only existed for a little more than a year. How exactly will it compete with Starbucks’ new “first mover advantage” strategy going forward?

Copper Cow Coffee

Amount Raised: $2 million

Lead Investors: Silverton Partners, CRCM Ventures, and AmplifyHer Ventures

Skift Table Take: Vietnam-based Copper Cow Coffee has scaled quickly, opening 3,000 stores since 2016. However, this seed round is aimed at expanding its e-commerce and office subscriptions business. Instant coffee can come in clutch when there is nothing else around.

Supply Chain:

Bowery Farming

Amount Raised: $90 million

Lead Investors: Google Ventures, Emasek, and David Barber’s Almanac fund, among others.

Skift Table Take: Bowery Farming is barely two-years-old, but the seller of pesticide-free produce has Sweetgreen, Dig Inn and Whole Foods as clients for a reason. Bowery grows food in its New Jersey factory using robotics. The funding round will be used to open up more vertical farms in new cities, according to Business Insider. This should mean that more partnerships are coming down the pipe soon.

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