Badger-founded food delivery company EatStreet plans to expand and revamp its service after successfully raising $6 million from investors.
EatStreet is an online food delivery service that began in Madison in 2010 and has expanded to more than 5,000 restaurants in more than 75 markets nationwide.
EatStreet Director of Marketing Daniel Mulligan said the funding came through the growth of ongoing business relationships between CEO Matt Howard and investors nationwide from Chicago to Silicon Valley.
“We’ll be using the funding to expand into a bunch of new markets nationally. We’ve been tripling in size each year so we plan on giving a lot of [the funding] to our work force, which includes members of our development team,” Mulligan said.
With more funding for the development team, EatStreet will be able to add new features to the website as well as improve its iPhone and Android apps, Mulligan said.
EatStreet will stay committed to the college population but also expand to meet other consumer markets, he said.
“We’ll continue to focus on cities with a larger college population. However, we’re also expanding into some larger markets like Los Angeles, Chicago and also targeting secondary markets such as office places,” Mulligan said.
Originally called Badger Bites, the company was co-founded by Howard and two other members while attending the University of Wisconsin.
Howard said they started EatStreet because they did not feel like there was an easy way to order food online.
“There were a few other websites out there, but they were charging extra fees to order,” Howard said. “We just saw that there was still the need for UW students to be able to have a free way to order online without extra charges added on.”
The original idea was to make ordering online a little easier, get more restaurants signed up and make it free for the college students, Howard said.
EatStreet has grown considerably since 2010, and Howard said he is proud that it continues to keep its base in its hometown of Madison. In the beginning, it was just Howard and his two co-founders, but the company now has a team of more than 30 full-time and 20 part-time employees and has partnered with nearly 5,000 restaurants in roughly 75 cities across the country, he said.
Howard said EatStreet seeks new restaurants, and restaurants also approach them. Regional managers for EatStreet can look for new restaurants opening up or new restaurants that have heard of the company can contact them, he said.
Erbert and Gerbert’s is one of many Madison restaurants that processes deliveries through EatStreet. Manager Spencer Graham of Erbert and Gerbert’s said he personally prefers EatStreet to other food delivery sites because other websites charge a higher percentage on deliveries.
Graham said he is also in favor of the process through which customers can follow their order. Through EatStreet, the restaurant is able to keep the customer up-to-date with what is going on behind the scenes, from the time they get the order to the time the delivery person is heading out the door, he said.
“I definitely believe that EatStreet provides Erbert and Gerbert’s with more student customers,” Graham said. “We definitely do a lot more deliveries because of them I believe.”