FanFood has just picked up a new — and really big — fan.
The company, whose mobile app lets attendees at live events order food and drinks without leaving their seats, has raised $2 million in new funding from Phoenix Sports Partners — a Chicago-based sports technology, media and marketing investment firm. The fresh funding will be used to grow the company’s footprint.
“Going into 2018, the goal wasn’t necessarily stadium acquisition,” said CEO Carson Goodale. “We were more focused on growing within the facilities that were already on the platform and creating an awesome fan experience. Now our focus is on getting more stadiums onto the platform.”
FanFood enables baseball stadiums, arenas, race tracks and more to offer mobile ordering without having to build or white-label an app. Venue operators simply upload their menus to the platform and manage incoming orders using the company’s cloud-based software, which is typically run on a tablet. In addition to processing orders and payments, the platform’s analytics function enables venue operators to more easily gather insights from their sales data.
One of our key priorities is bringing tech in-house as much as possible. There are a lot of big things we’re doing from a technology standpoint.”
FanFood currently lists 14 venues on its app, and the company recently started building a sales team to bring more stadiums onto the platform. The company is specifically targeting stadiums in Florida, Texas and Ohio, three states Goodale said have high stadium density. In addition to increasing its customer count, the company is also investing in its technology.
“With this round, one of our key priorities is bringing tech in-house as much as possible,” said Goodale. “There are a lot of big things we’re doing from a technology standpoint.”
FanFood recently brought on Chicago tech veteran Jeremy Niecikowski as CTO, whose resume includes technical leadership positions at Peapod, Uptake and Grubhub. The company is also hiring for a senior engineer. Adding muscle to its tech team will enable the company to hit its long-term goal: turning FanFood into a fully integrated, cloud-based point-of-sale system.
Goodale said FanFood is working on an integration with a POS provider, which will enable its platform to process both mobile and physical concession stand orders. In addition to cutting costs — POS machines aren’t exactly cheap — the idea is that a mobile ordering platform can also help stadiums go cashless quicker.
And that’s where the industry is moving: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which is home to the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and MLS’ Atlanta United FC, and Tropicana Field, where the MLB’s Tampa Bay Rays play, both recently announced plans to go cashless.
With this round, FanFood’s total funding is now $2.4 million. The company has a headcount of 15 people and is based in River North.