NEW YORK — Ando, the delivery-only, online Manhattan restaurant from David Chang, Momofuku and Expa has closed a $7 million Series A financing round led by Forerunner with participation from BoxGroup and Wildcat Venture Partners.
The company has also raised money from strategic angel investors in this round which include, William Lauder, Chairman of Estee Lauder; Neil Blumenthal, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Warby Parker;Andy Katz-Mayfield, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Harry’s; Abdur Chowdhury, Former Chief Scientist, Twitter; Dick Boyce, TPG Partner and former Chairman of Burger King; Elizabeth Cutler, Founder of SoulCycle; Jimmy Fallon and Aziz Ansari.
Ando plans to use the new funding to hire staff and build operational capacity to further expand delivery across New York City to accommodate the growing demand.
David Chang is the well-known chef and founder of Momofuku restaurants in NY which include Ssam Bar, Noodle Bar, Ko and Ma Peche.
Launched in New York this past July, Ando is David Chang and Momofuku’s first and only delivery-only restaurant concept. Momofuku brings the creative and culinary expertise as the back of house, while Expa provides the logistical, technical and startup business background to support as the front of house. This collaboration allows the Ando team to serve Momofuku food such as the NY Cheesesteak, Fried Chicken, and Spicy Tofu designed specifically for delivery.
Ando currently delivers in Manhattan from 36th St. to E. 72nd St, from the FDR Drive to 8th Ave., serving lunch 11am-2pm and dinner 5:30pm-8pm on weekdays. The Ando app is only available on Apple’s iOS platform and on the web. Menu items include the popular NY Cheesesteak, Fried Chicken and Spicy Tofu.
“Mobile technology has completely transformed our daily lives, and it’s certainly impacting the overall dining experience with the ease of delivery,” said Chang. “We’ve never taken VC money before, and Ando was a very special case since we’ve always wanted to do delivery for Momofuku. The concept of Ando was planned many years ago, and we waited until we found the perfect partner, Expa, that had the right technology and logistics to deliver quality food that, when delivered, is as good or more delicious than eating something in a restaurant. Now through the Ando platform, we’re starting to understand the consumer experience better and when we understand how the consumer eats the food and wants the food, then we can cook it better as well.”
With its unique approach to food development and delivery, Ando creates consistently high-quality menu items that are guaranteed to taste delicious and fresh upon delivery. The dishes are put through rigorous testing to ensure consistent quality while traveling across the city. Ingredients, temperature, weather, customer feedback and more are all factors that are considered and tested when developing each menu item. Through its platform and the use of data and analytics, Ando is able to explore how consumers interact with every part of the ordering process, understand how efficiently the kitchen is moving, how effective its delivery partners are and how to improve and shape the entire experience for each individual customer.