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One of the best parts about living in a major city is that when it comes to eating out, the options are endless. One of my favorite things is to try new restaurants or cuisines, but sometimes I just want to go home, put on sweatpants and have my favorite food come to me. Seamless is good to an extent, but the company hasn’t grabbed the entire market yet, and it always seems like those exact restaurants are the ones I want to place an order with on my commute.

David Bloom saw an opportunity in the restaurant space and started, a new way for restaurants to approach e-commerce. I talked to the CEO about his company, what makes it different and how his experience at American Express prepared him for the startup life. 

What exactly is is an open platform for restaurant e-commerce with APIs and other tools make it easy for anyone to build a food ordering app or integrate food ordering in any existing site, app or device. We connect these APIs to a similarly open restaurant network. Any online ordering app can connect to us, creating a massive, scalable national restaurant network. Our mission is to power generations upon generations of new restaurant commerce solutions.



What was the inspiration?

I used to run the restaurant business development team at American Express. My job was to get tens of millions of people to spend more money on restaurants. E-commerce was part of that but my only options were to promote a bunch of local online food ordering site or chain restaurants. The amount of opportunity in the space is crazy but there are very few tools that would help American Express (and really anyone that wants to do online ordering nationally) take advantage, so I recruited my co-founder/CTO Felix Sheng and we built it.

How old is the company?

We first started working on about three years ago and really buckled down two years ago. I joke that we are a typical overnight success story. 



How many partnerships do you have?

As an open platform anyone can work with us- that is part of what makes it so exciting. You never know what is coming next. National hotel brands, ad networks, healthcare companies, directories, newspapers, and lots of startups and individual developers. I am floored at the diversity and scale of opportunity in our business.

What has been your biggest struggle with

Our biggest struggle was explaining the model. Tell people you are an app for food problem. Tell them you are an open platform with transactional APIs and they shoot you strange looks. Recently APIs, b2b, local, and ecommerce all became hot. So by accident we sit at the junction of lasting holistic trends. Today that struggle is way easier. 



What has been your biggest success?

Our biggest success was pioneering a new model for commerce despite amazing technical and market challenges. We are the rare startup that still has the same vision, three years in, that we started out with. We believed in what we were doing and each other, and now the market does too. It’s awesome.

What’s next for

We are about to release the largest expansion of our restaurant network in our history. We will have a huge restaurant footprint in pretty much every major and minor market, and therefore can serve clients everywhere. This is a big step for us and I am excited to see how it affects the business.

What advice do you have for our community?

Felix and I want other founders to be inspired to dream really big. Building any company is next to impossible. Might as well pour your heart into something that really matters. We did, and when times were tough it helped keep us going. And now that times are good, it makes it all the more worthwhile. 



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