Sweetgreen raises new funding to fuel digital, store expansion

Marianne Wilson
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Salad chain Sweetgreen is now valued at more than $1 billion.

The fast-growing, fast-casual restaurant company has closed a $150 million financing round, co-led by Lone Pine Capital and D1 Capital Partners with participation from existing investors. The new round brings Sweetgreen’s total valuation to $1.6 billion.

Launched in 2007 with a single location, Sweetgreen now operates 97 restaurants nationwide. The company, which emphasizes healthy eating and sources local ingredients, said the new funding will enable it to make strategic investments in technology, data, supply chain and social impact, including expansion into new markets.

With over 50% of Sweetgreen orders taking place through digital channels, the company said it will test and deploy emerging technologies and new models to meet the expectations of its growing customer base. These include
• Expansion: In 2020, Sweetgreen will continue to expand into new cities, including Miami, Denver, and Austin, Texas.

• Launch of Sweetgreen delivery: Sweetgreen, which is currently available for delivery through third-party delivery partners like Grubhub.

• Rapid growth of Outpost: Sweetgreen plans to enhance and expand Outpost, which are drop-off stations the company deploys in large office buildings. Launched last year, there are now more than 400 Outpost stations, with an expected 600 sites expected by the end of this year.

• Investment in social impact: Sweetgreen intends to continue to support FoodCorps’ work in schools and cafeterias to get to healthier foods into school cafeterias.

“We’re building a new type of food company and a sustainable supply chain to challenge how we think about real food, explore innovative new retail formats, and elevate the consumer experience,” said Jonathan Neman, co-founder and CEO of Sweetgreen. “This foundation will allow us to push boundaries and broaden our impact, doing even more with our suppliers, partners, and technology so that together we can bring about industry-wide change.”