StratEx Acquired by “Unicorn” in Restaurant Technology

HR Tech, Talent Acquisition, Employee Experience, Workforce Management, Software

July 2019 — By Carolyn Mathis

Changes are coming to every restaurant near you! A former Harbor View client was recently acquired by a “Unicorn” in the restaurant management space (Unicorn: noun, a private company valued at more than $1 billion). In its first large acquisition, Toast acquired StratEx from Halyard Capital. Harbor View advised StratEx in its successful financial partnership with New York-based Halyard Capital in December of 2016. Over the course of the next three years, StratEx co-founders Adam Ochstein, Sami Abualsamid and COO Brian Bevel built up their SaaS platform with Halyard’s help to become the “HR partner of choice to restaurant owners.”

Boston-based Toast is a cloud based restaurant software that provides full management support from payroll to ordering, inventory and team management. Toast is often described as the Square for the foodservice industry – or even better, with both back-end (inventory tracking at the ingredient level) and front-end (menu and tip management) capabilities.

The retail and restaurant software market remains very active including several recent Initial Public Offerings (IPO). For example, Lightspeed POS (TSE: LSPD) came public in March of this year and has nearly doubled in market value to $2.5 billion. Leading research firm CB Insights tracks more than $500 million annually backing Restaurant Technology companies including fast growing startups like FiveStars, a mobile location loyalty software, and FobeSoft, a restaurant profitability management solution uniquely partnered with Sysco.

Toast, which crossed over into Unicorn status last year, is backed by notable finance groups including Tiger Global Management, Bessemer and TCV. With its $115 million Series D capital raise last year, the company is reportedly valued at $2.7 billion. Founded in 2011, the company has more than 1,500 employees and is growing 150% annually.

Chicago-based StratEx provides comprehensive HR solutions for restaurants including payroll, benefits and team management with onboarding and certification tracking. We congratulate the entire StratEx team and wish them continued success!

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