The company strives toward becoming the world leader in SaaS software for restaurants
The French startup that assists restaurants in the creation and simple management of their digital presence, Zenchef – formerly known as 1001menus – has received new funding of 6 million euros. Edenred Capital Partners leds the funding with new investors such as XAnge, METRO and past investors such as Elaia Partners, L’Accélérateur Capital Partners, Kima Ventures and several angel investors.
Created in 2011, Zenchef‘s primary mission has been to assist independent restaurant owners with their digital communication to help them gain and retain new customers. Within less than three years since its creation, Zenchef is now focusing on expanding internationally. This new increase in capital of 6 million euros marks a new stage in the company’s development dynamics, and outlines a strong initiative for the coming years. “In a sector of the restaurant industry that is undergoing complete transformation, we have the firm conviction that Zenchef addresses a true issue that independent restaurant owners are increasingly confronted with. Edenred Capital Partners seeks creative pioneer companies with high added-value, Zenchef is a company that we wished to support during its development stages. The work carried out by Xavier Zeitoun and his team over the last three years has demonstrated Zenchef’s capability to improve its services and be pertinent. With this funding of 6 million euros, Edenred, and the group of shareholders present in its capital, Zenchef now has all of the necessary means to reinforce its leadership and become a major player, indispensable to the market” commented Philippe Dufour, Executive Vice President, Alternative Investments at Edenred.
An International Strategy
At present Zenchef has more than 2,500 clients in restaurants across France, the United Kingdom and Spain, markets invested in early 2015. Its goal is to multiply this number up to 25,000 clients in Europe by 2018, a market with a potential of more than 500,000 independent restaurants. This increase in funding will allow the company to break new ground in its expansion toward conquering new international markets. Zenchef will be able to profit from the expertise of its new investors Edenred, inventor of the Ticket Restaurant®, and METRO, both already well connected within the HoReCa business.. Furthermore, Zenchef plan on recruiting more than 35 employees over the following 12 months, thereby increasing the size of the startup to over 80 employees. The company is currently recruiting numerous international positions for marketing, sales, finance and software engineering positions in Paris. “Zenchef is now at a key stage in its growth. Within three years of existence, we have managed to position ourselves as a leader in one of Europe’s biggest markets, France, owing to a unique service that addresses the growing issues that independent restaurant owners face in the digital sector and risk intermediation. Our new funding allows us to reinforce such leadership, while speeding up our development in significant markets, such as Germany, Italy, the UK and Spain,“ commented Xavier Zeitoun, CEO and co-founder of Zenchef. “Moreover, the presence of Edenred and METRO, with hundreds and thousands of affiliated restaurants and clients in 42 and 26 countries respectively, presents a real opportunity for our company and we are delighted that the strong potential of our business and our position have convinced such established enterprises in the restaurant sector.
An open platform to allow the new generation of restaurant technologies to communicate
Many online ordering or reservation sites as well as new generation point-of-sales (POS) have been launched recently in order to faciliate restaurants’ management and bring new customers. Restaurant owners who now understand the benefit of using these new services are feeling lost among the multiplicity of offers and the complexity of managing several tools that work separately. Zenchef wants to play a central role in this new ecosystem by creating the 1st marketplace of applications dedicated to restaurants. “Our goalby by opening our platform to third-party services is to create new uses for restaurants. For example, they will be able to use the data collected about their clients with to their point-of-sale system to send them targeted offers through Zenchef. These companies will benefit from an important visibility across the thousands of restaurants using Zenchef” commented Xavier Zeitoun. This marketplace of applications will be launched early 2016 with a few selected european partners. “Managing the “exterior world” of a restaurant, being the digital hub and over time the core of its API’s, this is what attracted us to the Zenchef project.” commented Cyril Bertrand, partner at XAnge.
A new brand in order to best reflect the company’s expertise and international development strategy
The services at Zenchef have evolved and transformed while assisting restaurant owners in creating and managing their online presence and bookings: “The evolution of our services has allowed us to think about a new brand. We have opted for Zenchef, which reflects our current position and our international initiative, together with our mission to assist restaurant owners to keep “zen”, so as to exclusively maintain their focus at the heart of their business, leaving online presence management to Zenchef. This more international brand further reflects our goal in becoming worldwide leaders in the sector”, concluded Xavier Zeitoun.
Funding Advisors Fundraisers: Clipperton Finance – Nicolas von Bulow, Antoine Ganancia Legal Company Advisors: McDermott Will & Emery Legal Investement Advisors: SLV&F Avocats