Oh to think back to the days of yore!
If I was sitting on my couch watching the 2013 MLB All-Star Game and got a hankering for a burrito from Anna’s Tacqueria, maybe a six pack of ice-cold Corona, or, for some reason, an order of “Pan Roasted New England Cod” from Stephi’s on Tremont, I’d have to get my butt out the door and (I can’t believe I’m typing this) actually go to a restaurant or store to fulfill my craving.
How different life is in the 2014 Summer of Delivery! Drizly, Postmates, Foodler, GrubHub, Favor, and others will now pick up and deliver pretty much anything my little heart requires without me leaving the permanent indent growing on my couch.
So, obviously the summer of ’14 is the perfect time for another delivery app to launch in Boston. At least that’s what Caviar is thinking as it launches today in an extremely crowded market.
So what makes Caviar, which is headquartered in San Francisco, different from other delivery companies on the market?
Jason Wang, the co-founder and chief executive of Caviar, said the company came about when he and some friends realized that the one thing missing in San Francisco (and the existing delivery market) was that no good restaurants delivered.
The focus for Caviar, therefore, is on higher-end restaurants that not only have never had their food delivered, but in some instances, don’t even do takeout.
Currently, the Boston restaurants available through Caviar don’t necessarily fit that mold. While it may be a novel experience to get food delivered from Stephi’s on Tremont or Orinoco, I’m almost certain that I can get a pie from Pizzeria Regina or food from Uburger through any service. However, as Caviar expands in Boston, I imagine that they will be adding some more popular and never-before-available-for-delivery restaurants.
The company also claims to have one of the widest delivery zones, which includes South Boston, and consistently short delivery times. Additionally, Caviar does a lot of catering as well.
When I asked what the attraction for the Boston market was, Wang put it this way: “There has been a lot of demand in Boston, we’ve had people emailing us asking when we were coming to Boston…and the food there is great, which is always a key metric for us.”
“Every city we go into,” Wang said, “we have a plan, we know how to expand, we know how to get the restaurants we want to work with, and we know how to get users to use our service. It’s kind of a service that sells itself.”
Caviar has launched so far in San Francisco, Seattle, and Manhattan. The company has also raised $13 million in Series A funding from Tiger Global, startup king-maker Andreessen Horowitz, Paul Buchheit, and the Mixt Greens Restaurant Group, in addition to its $2 million seed round, which also included the Winklevoss’ twins Winklevoss Capital.
Less than a week ago, Caviar was in the news for reports of the company’s acquisition by mobile payments company Square (as reported by TechCrunch). Wang said that that the article was just a rumor, and that a week earlier, the same outlet, TechCrunch had reported that Caviar was being acquired by Amazon.