NEW YORK — Slice, an online platform for independent pizzerias, has raised a $15 million Series B funding round led by GGV Capital with participation from existing investor Primary Ventures. The company has raised $20 million to date.
Founded in 2010 by Ilir Sela, Slice is an online and mobile pizza ordering platform that connects customers with their favorite local pizzeria. Customers can find pizza near them, place an order through Slice’s website, iOS or Android app, and check out with a stored payment method or Apple Pay, making the process as easy and quick as possible.
The NY-based company has also hired a new Chief Marketing Officer, Ryan Scott, to lead marketing efforts as it continues to scale and penetrate the $45 billion domestic pizza market.
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. The new funding also enables Slice to reach new markets and continue to level the playing field for independent pizzerias by providing partners with more resources to increase sales, while maintaining control of their brand.
“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.”
In conjunction with the latest funding, Ryan Scott joins Slice as the company’s new CMO where he brings years of experience in high-growth marketing for two-sided marketplaces. As former CMO of Seamless, Ryan 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. Upon joining forces, Ryan oversaw all marketing efforts on behalf of GrubHub 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 Ryan Scott, CMO of Slice. “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.”
In his new role as CMO of Slice, Ryan will focus on brand-building and driving adoption and usage of Slice across iOS and Android, along with its web platform.
“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.”