New York-based Slice, an online pizza ordering platform that connects people with local pizzerias, is said to have raised $15 million in a Series B funding round led by GGV Capital with participation from existing investor Primary Ventures. The startup was founded in 2010 and raised $20 million to date.
Slice plans to use the funding to expand its investments in mobile applications and restaurant technology to develop new product capabilities for an enhanced user experience.
“Our mission will always be to support independent pizzerias across the country by serving as the end-to-end marketing and technology platform to help their business grow while driving efficiency in their day-to-day operations. It’s our goal to meet and exceed the mobile demands of pizzeria customers nationwide while allowing owners to focus on what they do best — make and serve great pizza.” said Ilir Sela, founder and CEO of Slice. “Our platform is built to serve as a gateway to loyalty, so rather than rotating customers to other restaurants, we’re making it easy for them to order and reorder from their favorite pizzeria. Ultimately, our goal is to deliver an extraordinary consumer experience, and that starts with shifting consumption back to the independents.”
Sela founded Slice as a passion project to help his family and friends in the pizza business. He built Slice to help them manage their pizzerias’ online ordering so they could focus on making great pizza. Word about Slice spread throughout the pizza community and it grew to handle orders from millions of customers across the country. His vision has been to connect people through local pizza and empower pizzerias in the digital age.
“Slice is bringing mobile commerce to the $45 billion U.S. pizza market, empowering independent merchants to compete with the big boys, and is part of a broader trend we see with technology uniting consumers and the merchants they love at a very localized level,” said Jeff Richards, Managing Partner, GGV Capital and new Slice board member. “It’s pretty rare we find an entrepreneur like Ilir who has built a company from scratch to reach thousands of merchants and more than 2,000 cities on a very small amount of invested capital. We can’t wait to see what he and the team accomplish over the next few years as they build a phenomenal platform that benefits both consumers and independent pizzerias around the world.”
As it continues to scale and penetrate the $45 billion domestic pizza market, Slice hired Ryan Scott as the company’s new CMO, bringing years of experience in high-growth marketing for two-sided marketplaces. As former CMO of Seamless, he pivoted the previous enterprise brand to a consumer brand and spearheaded corporate efforts to accelerate geographic expansion leading up to its merge with GrubHub in 2013 and played an integral role in executing its IPO in 2014.
“Slice is quickly becoming the leader in the growing trend of verticalization of mobile businesses — those unique and successful companies with deep understanding of consumers’ needs around a specific category, like HotelTonight and Lyft for instance,” said Scott. “For us, that category is pizza. When someone craves pizza, there’s no alternative, and other food apps don’t help you satiate your specific craving, they are more focused on surfacing alternatives. Slice is committed to making it easy for people to get their favorite homeslice quickly, efficiently, and economically. And we are as committed to serving our pizzeria owners as we are the people who love pizza. I’m excited to join the team as we continue to grow.”
Slice’s marketing and technology solutions allow independent pizzerias in over 2,000 cities nationwide to grow their business and maintain control of their brand locally. Every order is supported by a 24/7 customer service team to ensure all orders are successfully processed.
Photo: Ilir Sela, founder and CEO of Slice.