A record-setting year for the funding of Canadian tech companies continues.
Ritual is the latest to strike it big, announcing a $70 million USD ($90 million CAD) Series C funding round. This round was led by Georgian Partners, with existing investors Greylock Partners, Insight Ventures, and Mistral Venture Partners all participating as well.
The Toronto-based startup offers a platform that allows users to order food and beverages (with a distinct focus on coffee) ahead of time then go pick it up. It is decidedly different than delivery companies like Uber Eats and Foodora, as Ritual champions the in-person experience.
“We’re very clear on who Ritual is built for,” says Ray Reddy, Ritual’s founder and CEO. “It’s regular people on an everyday basis, and everything we do stems from that fact. To be really successful, we have to deliver convenience, while prices have to go down somehow as well.”
Reddy’s idea of prices going down comes from the platform’s well-received rewards feature. If customers order enough, they can earn money to put towards their next purchase. New restaurants and first-time orders will net users more points, and bonus periods can give people up to 20 times the points as well. It’s this loyalty program that keeps Ritual’s fan base coming back for seconds.
On the restaurant side, Ritual works with brands to enter them on the platform, then stays with them to ensure they have a smooth experience.
“There’s a big difference between Amazon and the company that builds Target’s website,” says Reddy. “We are not a software vendor for a restaurant, saying here’s this platform, pay us and go do what you want. We are in the trenches, and we acknowledge software is one part of the process. There’s a blurry line between where our software ends and where the in-store experience begins, and we have to go all the way to the end.”
Close to 45,000 companies and teams use Ritual, and those environments are where the platform thrives the most. The company offers a Piggyback feature, allowing multiple people to place and pay for their own order at a restaurant, then have one person go and bring it all back to the office, netting them extra points and some “thank-you’s” from coworkers.
RIght now, Ritual features over 3,000 restaurants spread across 10 cities in North America, including Chicago, Boston and Washington DC. Toronto is the company’s only active Canadian location, and it doubles as the city the company has the best relationship with, considering Ritual has worked with the government to promote local restaurants in cases like the Food is King promotion.
Expansion is next on the docket for Ritual as it eyes moving beyond North American and into uncharted waters. Of course, more expansions into Canada are on the list—such as Vancouver and Montreal—but the company says it plans to open up to European and Asian cities next year as well.
Ritual raised a large funding round of $43.5 million less than a year ago, so this new capital shows just how quickly the company is growing.