Sweetgreen Reveals Soaring Revenue, Big Stock Grant for Founders in IPO Filing

Harri Weber

Harri is dot.LA's senior finance reporter. She previously worked for Gizmodo, Fast Company, VentureBeat and Flipboard. Find her on Twitter and send tips on L.A. startups and venture capital to harrison@dot.la.

Sweetgreen, the Culver City salad chain that became a popular spot for the health-conscious set, filed to go public on Monday on the New York Stock Exchange.

Dependent on office workers darting in for leafy bowls on their lunch breaks, Sweetgreen struggled when the pandemic hit and shuttered workplaces. But the company has since bounced back. It revealed Monday in a filing for an initial public offering that its revenue for the year to date, as of September 26, spiked by about 51% to $243 million from the same period last year.

The salad chain also disclosed losses of nearly $87 million to date in 2021, down from about $100 million during the same period in 2020.

In April 2020, Sweetgreen let go of 10% of its workforce at its L.A. headquarters, alienating some workers who were told about the layoffs via a pre-written script and were then locked out of their accounts. Little more than a year later, the company disclosed its plans to go public through a confidential filing.

Since then, Sweetgreen has won backing from star tennis player Naomi Osaka and its CEO Jonathan Neman has drawn ire for his now-deleted comments on the coronavirus, mask mandates and public health.

Despite the gaffe, Sweetgreen awarded its founders a "mega-grant" of company shares that is contingent on the company hitting certain stock-price milestones in the future, according to the filing. The compensation package is reminiscent of Elon Musk's arrangement with Tesla.

Founded in 2007 by three friends who wanted cheap healthy food around Georgetown University's campus, Sweetgreen has heavily depended on technology to sell their salads and streamline their supply chain. The company has 140 restaurants in 13 states, but the majority of its orders at the restaurant are made online, according to the filing.

Like other tech-dependent companies, Sweetgreen acknowledges that ad-blockers, privacy regulations and other measures that prevent consumer tracking could harm it's bottom line. Facebook on Monday saw its shares fall after Apple's new privacy rules hit tech companies.

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Energy Shares Wants to Offer You a Chance to Invest in Green Energy Startups

David Shultz

David Shultz reports on clean technology and electric vehicles, among other industries, for dot.LA. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside, Nautilus and many other publications.

Energy Shares Wants to Offer You a Chance to Invest in Green Energy Startups
Photo by Red Zeppelin on Unsplash

The Inflation Reduction Act contains almost $400 billion in funding for clean energy initiatives. There’s $250 billion for energy projects. $23 billion for transportation and EVs. $46 billion for environment. $21 billion for agriculture, and so on. With so much cash flowing into the sector, the possibilities for investment and growth are gigantic.

These investment opportunities, however, have typically been inaccessible for everyday retail investors until much later in a company’s development–after an IPO, usually. Meaning that the best returns are likely to be captured by banks and other institutions who have the capital and financing to invest large sums of money earlier in the process.

That’s where Pasadena-based Energy Shares comes in. The company wants to help democratize access to these investment opportunities and simultaneously give early-stage utility-scale energy projects another revenue stream.

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Why These Ukrainian Entrepreneurs Are Making LA Their Home

Aisha Counts
Aisha Counts is a business reporter covering the technology industry. She has written extensively about tech giants, emerging technologies, startups and venture capital. Before becoming a journalist she spent several years as a management consultant at Ernst & Young.
Why These Ukrainian Entrepreneurs Are Making LA Their Home
Joey Mota

Fleeing war and chasing new opportunities, more than a dozen Ukrainian entrepreneurs have landed in Los Angeles, finding an unexpected community in the city of dreams. These entrepreneurs have started companies that are collectively worth more than $300 million, in industries ranging from electric vehicle charging stations to audience monetization platforms to social networks.

Dot.LA spent an evening with this group of Ukrainian citizens, learning what it was like to build startups in Ukraine, to cope with the unimaginable fear of fleeing war, and to garner the resilience to rebuild.

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