Four-year-old food ordering startup Ontray has been acquired by a New York City-based “ghost kitchen” company, the pair announced Monday.
Ontray first started in 2016, and was incubated at Northern Liberties dev shop Jarvus Innovations. The idea is to help restaurants handle online orders themselves, instead of relying on sites like Grubhub, where a restaurant needs to pay to appear.
“But that didn’t guarantee that people were spending money on them. We want to give control of online ordering back to the industry,” CEO Tyler Wiest told us in 2017.
Over the last four years, Ontray has processed more than $3 million in sales for restaurants around the globe, the company said in a statement.
The Philly company has been acquired by Zuul Kitchens, which provides dedicated kitchen facilities and services for restaurants that offer delivery, but don’t necessarily have the space to keep up with orders.
Zuul offers custom-built, individual kitchens, where restaurants can prepare delivery orders, and the company also handles operational tasks like dishwashing and delivery service. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.
“We have acquired key technical assets and talent from Ontray to better support our restaurant members and set them up for success,” Zuul CEO and Cofounder Corey Manicone said. “Together with Ontray’s technology, Zuul can innovate a ‘whole product delivery solution’ that includes affordable online ordering for our members.”
Wiest, who founded Ontray, and the company’s only other employee, Charlie Costanzo, who ran point on sales for the last two years (and previously codirected Code for Philly), have both moved to New York to support the deal. Wiest will become Zuul’s CTO and Costanzo was named the company’s business development lead.
“As a first time founder, I’m very proud that we were able to find a path to success through the Philly startup ecosystem,” Wiest told Technical.ly. “It obviously had its challenges but Philly was a great place to start a company. While we’re sad we have to leave Philly, our team is very excited to be part of what we see as the next major disruption of the space.”
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