Fortino Capital makes its first VC investment in Germany by participating in the €10m Series A round of Sides- the operating system for restaurants digitizing the hospitality industry.

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Fortino Capital makes its first VC investment in Germany by participating in the €10m Series A round of Sides - the operating system for restaurants digitizing the hospitality industry.

Jul. 13th, 2021
  • Sides maps all processes up to on-demand food ordering
  • Cloud-based software provider grows profitably; driven by food delivery and ghost kitchen trends
  • Sides customers include industry leaders such as McDonald's, Dean & David and Burger King

Amsterdam/Berlin, 13 July 2021 - Fortino Capital announces a co-investment in Sides. The €10m Series A round is led by Cusp Capital, which recently announced a new €300m fund dedicated to early stage tech investments across Europe, and which has been early stage investors in a.o. Klarna, Zalando and Delivery Hero. Sides is a Berlin-based start-up that provides cloud software for around 3,000 restaurant chains, ghost kitchens or individual businesses in German-speaking countries and the Netherlands, mapping all processes from order entry to meal delivery. With their solutions, Sides enables restaurants of all sizes to succeed in the age of on-demand services. Sides' customers include McDonald's, Dean & David, Burger King, L'Osteria and burgerme.


Sides benefits from paradigm shift in restaurant business

"Restaurants are undergoing a fundamental paradigm shift. The ordering business, which was already growing strongly before the pandemic, has now in many cases become more important than the traditional retail store," says Christian Winter, General Partner at Cusp Capital. "Sides's software enables restaurants to take advantage of the opportunities offered by digital platforms such as Lieferando and Wolt and balance their use alongside their own channels in the best possible way." The software puts restaurateurs back in direct contact with customers - and regular customers are identified as such.

In the past three years, Sides doubled their revenue annually, while remaining profitable. The company currently employs around 80 people and processes over 1.6 bn annually in Gross Merchandising Volume (GMV) and 145,000 orders each day. Sides intends to use its new funding to further expand its business in Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland. In the medium term, the company plans to expand into other European countries. The company also plans to intensify its business with retail chains. Until recently, Sides was exclusively financed by its founders.

"We are digitizing the entire value chain for gastronomes and delivery services," says Bjorn Wisnewski, founder and CEO of Sides. "Our operating system helps gastronomes to easily deliver the ordered food to the table or to people’s homes. Our modular software stack makes it easier for restaurants to just do their work and synchronize their delivery. This allows gastronomes to focus on what's really important to them: good food, good service - and, of course, their customers."


Fragmented software landscape to be replaced by cloud-based solutions

Sides' software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution integrates all restaurant processes - from marketing to customer orders, shift planning, procurement, warehousing, delivery services and payment processing. In this way, different ordering channels such as the point-of-sale in the restaurant, the company's own web store or the connection to a delivery service are integrated. In parallel, the software can also prioritize orders according to criteria such as profitability, for example. The software is also used for concepts such as Ghost Kitchens - restaurants that only deliver food orders and no longer have a regular retail business.

“Marcel van der Heijden Partner at Fortino Capital says: “we are convinced the hospitality industry is on an accelerated digitalization path and Sides has built one of the most complete software stacks, which empowers restaurant owners to enhance client relationships, create new revenues opportunities and operate more cost efficient. This is our first investment in Germany and we are very keen to contribute to its flourishing tech ecosystem.”


Trend toward online ordering drives growth

The growth prospects for Sides continue to be promising. By 2023, the global market for online food delivery market is expected to grow by more than 30 percent, Statista estimates. Ghost Kitchens sales alone could exceed the trillion mark by 2030, according to Euromonitor. In addition, more and more food retailers are looking for software to manage their delivery services.


About Sides

Sides digitizes the entire value chain for gastronomes and delivery services with their holistic operating system. Founded in 2014, the company offers a modular software stack for easy, fast and efficient restaurant and franchise operations. Sides' customers include McDonald's, Dean & David, Burger King, L'Osteria and burgerme. The company is founder-managed and employs around 80 people, primarily from the catering industry.

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