Digital cash-register startup Toast, which sells tablet-based sales systems for restaurants, has raised nearly $3 million in new debt financing and says it has signed up 1,000 customers in the past two years.
Toast has been growing rapidly in recent months. The company now has about 120 employees and said it’s adding about 15 workers per month at its new headquarters in Boston’s Fenway area. At the beginning of 2014, the startup consisted of about 10 people crammed into co-founder Aman Narang’s basement, spokeswoman Ellie Mirman said.
The new fund-raising was disclosed in an SEC filing dated Thursday. The paperwork indicates that the nearly $3 million raised so far from five unnamed investors could grow to $15 million. Mirman declined to comment on the new fund-raising, a common practice during private investment rounds that could be ongoing.
Toast CEO Chris Comparato, however, told us last month that he was planning “a significant second round” this year. The company previously raised about $7 million from investors, primarily former Endeca chief executive Steve Papa. Toast’s three co-founders met as co-workers at Endeca, a Cambridge-based company that Oracle purchased in 2011 for around $1 billion.
Toast’s tablet computer point-of-sale systems are based around Google’s Android software. Like many in the sector, Toast’s product offers payment card processing and data analysis to help restaurants and other small retailers track their sales figures.
The company has customers in 35 states and expects to expand that footprint to all 50 states by the end of the year, Mirman said. “We’re pretty excited about the pace of the company,” she said.
Startups and large companies alike have been trying for the past few years to bring digital upgrades to the technology currently being used by mom-and-pop storefronts and chain retailers. They’ve had mixed results. Square and PayPal are among the bigger technology names offering credit card readers and related software to small businesses.
Traditional payment processors also have tried to expand their digital products, including New Jersey-based Heartland Payment Systems, which acquired Cambridge-based point-of-sale tablet seller Leaf, but subsequently shuttered the money-losing subsidiary.
“A lot of companies have tried something in this space, but not a lot of companies have succeeded,” Mirman said. “Customers are signing up and sticking with us, so we think that we’re really on to something.”