Restaurant software firm Toast files for U.S. IPO

(Reuters) -Toast Inc filed for an initial public offering (IPO) on Friday, as the start-up that sells software to help restaurants with online ordering looks to cash in on the surge in demand for food delivery since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Toast’s IPO will follow that of U.S. food delivery company DoorDash Inc, which was valued at more than $71 billion after its market debut in December.

Toast could be valued at $20 billion in its IPO, the Wall Street Journal reported in February, citing people familiar with the matter.

DoorDash and rivals Uber Eats, Grubhub and Postmates have benefited from a surge in demand for food delivery services due to widespread COVID-19 restrictions.

Toast’s operations hit a rough patch at the start of the pandemic because of lockdowns and the company was forced to cut the size of its staff by half through layoffs and furloughs in April.

It has since seen a change in fortune, joining rivals in benefiting from higher demand.

Toast was valued at about $5 billion, as of February last year. The company closed a secondary share sale in November, valuing it at $8 billion, CNBC reported.

The company’s investors include TPG, Tiger Global Management, American Express Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, G Squared, TCV and Greenoaks.

The Boston-based company, which was founded in 2011 and launched in 2013, has partnered with about 48,000 restaurant locations, and processed more than $38 billion in gross payment volume over the past 12 months.

Restaurants can use Toast’s platform to offer online ordering, operate on-demand delivery network among other things.

Toast will list its stock on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “TOST.”

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan are lead underwriters for the offering.

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