"Munchery is growing incredibly fast in San Francisco. Customer acquisition is organic and viral," Pishevar told Mashable, noting that the startup's sales are growing at 20% month-over-month. He compared it to the growth trajectory of Uber, the multi-billion dollar taxi car company, which he invested in early on. "I was able to calculate the city launches and the numbers get really big, really fast. The same thing is happening at Munchery."
Talks for the latest funding round commenced 6-8 weeks ago, according to Pishevar, right around the time that GrubHub officially filed to go public. Even so, Pishevar says GrubHub's successful IPO played no role in driving up VC interest for Munchery. Instead, Pishevar argues that those in the food startup space have a similar potential to car services like Uber. Both, he says, are inherently social and are useful on a daily basis.
What we look for are things where people need something multiple times a day,"
he says. "Our prediction was the next Uber-like success would come out of the food market." "Our prediction was the next Uber-like success would come out of the food market."
Munchery is far from the only food delivery startup raising 8-figure funding deals. Sprig raised $10 million last month. Spoonrocket is reportedly raising "at least" that much money. And Blue Apron is rumored to be raising around $30 million at a $500 million valuation.
"I think people recognize that it's an industry that has yet to be really transformed by the Internet... which is one of the reasons that businesses like us and other different businesses in the food industry have been growing really fast," says Matt Salzberg, founder and CEO of Blue Apron. (He declined to comment on the rumors about Blue Apron funding).
Even those startups taking a different approach to the food delivery space are seeing strong investor interest. Kitchensurfing, which lets users hire private chefs to come to their homes and cook, announced raising a $15 million Series B round at the end of last month. The company is open to delivering prepared foods down the road, but not yet.
"The food space is very interesting because it has one of the largest share of wallets in the world in terms of how much people spend on food, and yet food has one of the lowest incidences of e-commerce penetration in the world," Chris Muscarella, cofounder and CEO of Kitchensurfing, said in an earlier interview with website Mashable.
He adds: "I think there is actually room for a couple very large companies in the food space. Everyone's kind of going after it in different ways. It's kind of a question of what's your special sauce."