Three Former LA Restaurant Owners Are Taking on Doordash and Postmates

Francesca Billington

Francesca Billington is a freelance reporter. Prior to that, she was a general assignment reporter for dot.LA and has also reported for KCRW, the Santa Monica Daily Press and local publications in New Jersey. She graduated from Princeton in 2019 with a degree in anthropology.

Three Former LA Restaurant Owners Are Taking on Doordash and Postmates
Photo by CardMapr.nl on Unsplash

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.

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

Cadence

Venture Firm BackStage Capital Reduces Staff to 3 Employees

Kristin Snyder

Kristin Snyder is an editorial intern for dot.la. She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

Venture Firm BackStage Capital Reduces Staff to 3 Employees
Photo by Jp Valery on Unsplash

Venture firm Backstage Capital laid off nine employees, reducing its staff to just three.

Managing partner and founder Arlan Hamilton announced the layoffs Sunday on her “Your First Million” podcast. General partners Christie Pitts and Brittany Davis, along with Hamilton, are the only remaining employees, TechCrunch reported. The move comes only three months after the Los Angeles-based firm said it would only fund existing portfolio companies.

Read moreShow less

A New Tide of LA Startups Is Tackling the National Childcare Crisis

Keerthi Vedantam

Keerthi Vedantam is a bioscience reporter at dot.LA. She cut her teeth covering everything from cloud computing to 5G in San Francisco and Seattle. Before she covered tech, Keerthi reported on tribal lands and congressional policy in Washington, D.C. Connect with her on Twitter, Clubhouse (@keerthivedantam) or Signal at 408-470-0776.

A New Tide of LA Startups Is Tackling the National Childcare Crisis
Image by Carolyn Figel

The pandemic exacerbated a problem that has been long bubbling in the U.S.: the childcare crisis.

According to a survey of people in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers conducted by the city’s WiSTEM Los Angeles program and shared exclusively with dot.LA, the pandemic exposed a slew of challenges across STEM fields. The survey—which consisted of 181 respondents from L.A.County and was conducted between March 2021 and 2022— involved respondents across medical fields, technical professions and science industries who shared the pandemic’s effects on their professional or education careers.

Read moreShow less

“Talent Is Ubiquitous; Access to Capital Is Not': MaC Venture Capital Raises $203M for Early-Stage Startups

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is dot.LA's Editorial Fellow. Prior to that, she was an editorial intern at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

“Talent Is Ubiquitous; Access to Capital Is Not': MaC Venture Capital Raises $203M for Early-Stage Startups
Courtesy of MaC Venture Capital

While venture capital funding has taken a hit this year, that hasn’t stopped MaC Venture Capital from raising $203 million for its second fund.

The Los Angeles-based, Black-led VC firm said Monday that it had surpassed its initial $200 million goal for the fund, which dot.LA reported in January, over the span of seven months. MaC said it expects to invest the capital in up to 50 mostly seed-stage startups while remaining “sector-agnostic.”

Read moreShow less
RELATEDEDITOR'S PICKS
LA TECH JOBS
interchangeLA
Trending