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Three Former LA Restaurant Owners Are Taking on Doordash and Postmates

Three former Los Angeles restaurant owners are behind a new delivery platform for businesses looking to supplement or replace sales from DoorDash and Postmates.

The L.A.-based startup called Cartwheel closed a $1 million seed round led by TenOneTen Ventures.

The company provides a SaaS platform for restaurants to carry out deliveries. Restaurant owners have complained that third party delivery services like DoorDash can take cuts of up to 30%, though they remain dependent on the apps to stay in business.

The idea behind Cartwheel is to help them save money and retain connection to their customers.

So far its 400 some customers include national chains like Portillo's and PF Chang's. But Alex Vasilkin — the company's co-founder and CEO — is eying L.A.'s biggest grocery startups and fast casual restaurants.

"L.A. is a birthplace of great food-tech startups, including ChowNow, Sweetgreen, and Thrive Market, that are at the forefront of innovation in the space," Vasilkin said by email. "We hope to partner with more players in the ecosystem like them."

The chief executive previously owned ROFL Cafe on Melrose, which he said reached #1 restaurant on GrubHub in 2013. He pivoted to delivery software a year later after realizing "there was no existing software that would meet all of our needs."

The back-end software is designed for restaurant managers and employees. To manage ordering and paying, Cartwheel partners with the publicly traded ordering app Olo.

Act One Ventures, Portillo's Hot Dogs and other restaurateur angel investors also contributed to the company's first funding round.