John Pletz | Crain’s Chicago Business | November 28, 2018
Even as consolidation has claimed other rivals to OpenTable—such as Reserve, which recently was acquired by Resy—Tock marches on. The four-year-old company raised $9.5 million in its third round of funding.
The deal was led by local investors Valor Equity Partners, a venture fund run by Antonio Gracias, and Origin Ventures, the fund that backed Grubhub and led Tock’s $7.5 million round two years ago.
Other local investors include Matt Maloney, co-founder and CEO of Grubhub, who also is a Tock board member; Lettuce Entertainment Enterprises; Hyde Park Venture Partners; Chicago Ventures; Pritzker Group Venture Capital; Howard Tullman’s G2T3V fund; and star chefs Thomas Keller and Andrew Zimmern.
Tock has never lacked for star power. It was co-founded by Nick Kokonas, a business partner with chef Grant Achatz in Alinea and several other top Chicago restaurants, and former Google engineer Brian Fitzpatrick.
They built Tock to handle prepaid bookings that are favored by Alinea and other high-end restaurants, as well as manage reservations and relationships with customers. The question has always been whether Tock could also serve chains and other less-exclusive restaurants.
“We’re starting to get large restaurant groups,” Kokonas said. He points to Burger & Lobster, an 18-restaurant chain in the U.K., and a larger deal that he expects to announce in January.