Better together : GoCater and ezCater join forces!

Stephen Leguillon
Jul 24, 2018 · 5 min read

I am very excited and proud to announce that GoCater has been acquired by ezCater, the Boston-based world’s largest online marketplace for business catering. This is huge news and creates an exciting future. More than ever, we’re on a good path to achieve our vision : building a future where every company has smoothly and cost-efficiently added catering to their work environment. Today is a great time to let you know more about this move and what is ahead for GoCater’s ecosystem!

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A year and a half ago, a month after GoCater’s launched, I wrote this article explaining our vision for the company:

GoCater is restructuring how the corporate catering industry works. We envision a future where every company has seamlessly and cost-efficiently added catering to their work environment. We envision a future where every caterer has the means to run a client-centric, profitable, growing and data-driven business. GoCater is the platform that will enable this change, building a bright future for the corporate catering industry.

I wouldn’t change a word of it today. It shows how aligned we’ve been with this vision and how precisely we managed to identify the challenges.

I was expecting us to move fast towards this goal, but probably not this fast. Within a year and a half, our team has built a fantastic product that united on the same platform thousands of businesspeople, hundreds of caterers and restaurants, including large brands like Le Pain Quotidien or Lenôtre. With a strong entrepreneurial mindset, we’ve already made a noticeable difference in a 17 billions euros European industry. And we’re only getting started!

— “Together, we’re unstoppable!”

The first time I had a phone call with Stefania Mallett, ezCater’s CEO, we were indirect competitors. Same business, different geographic markets. These calls are always tricky to handle, you want to share the right amount of information to learn from the conversation, but not too much. But something happened that day. We were very open with Stefania and had a great time chatting about each other’s challenges and learnings. I was fascinated by her understanding of the market, of the clients, her business expertise, and most of all, by her . She’s been in this business for almost ten years with her cofounder, Briscoe Rodgers. In return, I think she was impressed by what we have achieved in Europe in so little time.

We spoke a few times casually on the phone. But this spring, with Giorgio, my co-founder, we went visiting ezCater offices in Boston. What should have been a meeting with Stefania went into a full visit of their company. We met their amazing and experienced team, and got acquainted with the vibe of the organisation. I quickly realized something: we were just working the same way! Our values were surprisingly similar, our teams were driven by the same motivations, we were pursuing the same dream of a strong value-adding global success. And these guys really know what they are doing!

So it started. GoCater was to become ezCater’s first step to their internationalisation. A trip to Paris to meet the GoCater team, and we started to discuss the acquisition. The approach always stayed business-driven, efficient, transparent and fair. The most important for the two companies was to keep the business moving forward, even if we were discussing a transaction. I wish every company founders around me would experience acquisitions which are as fast and sound as we did with ezCater!

With Giorgio, the main learning we got after years of entrepreneurship together is that no matter how good you are and how strong is your vision, you need the right people around you to make things happen. With ezCater, we believe that we met the right people. As Stefania says, “together, we’re unstoppable!”.

— “Build a service that matters. And make it big.”

For ezCater, acquiring GoCater is a powerful move. It’s their first step outside of the US. The company just raised 100M$ on a Series D round, with international expansion as part of their strategy.

For GoCater, joining forces with ezCater, in the middle of this momentum, is very exciting. We are joining a company working with more than 60K caterers in the US and which has served 45M+ people. They know what works, they know what doesn’t. ezCater will literally save us years of experiments and countless investments. The new situation is also strengthening our place in Europe, enabling us to grow fast thanks to ezCater’s resources.

Our common ambition is not only about growing in numbers (which, by the way, is key!), it’s also about creating a new system for corporate catering, . For our clients and partners, this acquisition means that we are now in a better position to build a service that matters!

— “People, People, People”

I’d like to address all my gratitude to the people who made GoCater such a success. First of all, the crazy talented people I work alongside with everyday in Paris. You guys are amazing, and I’m looking forward for our next achievements in such a promising environment!

Thanks to our supportive board members, namely, Laurent Sachs, Guillaume Cuvelier and Guillaume Cussac who provided great advice entrepreneurs, and also knew how to trust us. I’m also thinking about all our investors, who believed in us from day one, who supported us through the spin-off, and our previous employees who really gave their best.

Thanks to the La Belle Assiette team, my previous company and where GoCater spun out from. I value their amazing work while Giorgio and I had to focus on both companies at the same time. We’re very confident that Mathieu, the new La Belle Assiette CEO, will continue to lead the company on the bright road it already is on!

Thanks to Marion, my strongest advisor and supporter.

Thanks to Serge Vatine, Elhame Hmaimid and their team at Bold Avocats, who helped us navigate the legal part of this deal with agility and commitment to entrepreneurs which defines their firm.

I’m very proud GoCater was acquired by such an amazing company. This move from ezCater is the best recognition of the hard work we delivered. It also shows the dynamism of French entrepreneurship and the great environment we have now to develop companies here. Seeing a major US actor choosing Paris as its first base in Europe is very encouraging!

Future is promising. More growth, more suppliers, more features, more fun! Keeping the same mindset and values, the acquisition is a fantastic catalyst for the international success of ezCater’s vision.

Europe, the new catering industry is coming at you!

Stephen

GoCater

The catering delivery platform that helps businesses meet…

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