32 Equity Invests In Appetize

NFL investment arm part of $25M in series B funding for point-of-sale company

  • by Brad Weissberg
  • Published: August 9, 2018

The NFL's investment arm, 32 Equity, is part of the latest funding round for point-of-sale platform company Appetize.

Appetize has closed its series B round of funding with an investment from 32 Equity, the venture capital arm of the NFL. This round of investment raised a total of $25 million in capital for the point-of-sale software company.

Shamrock Capital Advisors, which was majority owner of the Harlem Globetrotters from 2005 to 2013 and owns a piece of FanDuel, and Silicon Valley Bank also invested in the round, which closed in mid-July.

Kevin Anderson, Appetize co-founder and chief strategy officer, didn't say how much 32 Equity invested but put the figure at less than $5 million.

Appetize is in 10 NFL stadiums, including Lambeau Field (Green Bay Packers), Hard Rock Stadium (Miami Dolphins), Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia Eagles) and MetLife Stadium.

The investment in Appetize does not affect commercial activities at NFL stadiums, Anderson said. “It’s strictly an investment deal, but the NFL saw their teams quickly adopting Appetize and the NFL doesn’t make random investments. They make investments in companies their teams are using and seeing success with.”

Anderson said there were no legal issues regarding 32 Equity owning a portion of any company that goes to NFL teams that are issuing RFPs. “The teams are absolutely free to choose (the companies) they think are best for them and their team,” he said.

The funds will be used for continued expansion, both in sports and entertainment and outside of it. Appetize also has accounts in higher education, travel and leisure, and theme parks, Anderson said.

Appetize is strictly a tech company and does not provide any food services. It partners with leading concessionaires such as Aramark, Levy, Centerplate, Sodexo and Delaware North. In addition, “We’ve come out with a new restaurant functionality and a solution for serving team stores and other retail outlets to better integrate with our concessionaire partners,” Anderson said.

The company has also moved into self-service stands at venues, in addition to mobile ordering and online ordering.

Kevin LaForce, vice president of 32 Equity, said in a statement: “We’re pleased to support Appetize and their continued growth. Appetize is a leader in modern point of sale and ordering solutions and is a key player in the effort to modernize operating systems at sports venues and large merchants globally.”

The NFL launched 32 Equity in 2013 with Providence Equity Partners. Other investment targets for 32 Equity have included Blue Star Sports, a youth sports platform that rebranded at Stack Sports earlier this year.

  • by Brad Weissberg
  • Published: August 9, 2018