LOS ANGELES, March 15, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Zitti–a first-of-its-kind payment and credit platform built for food industry management and vendors–launched today to transform food industry operations by giving small-to-medium-sized restaurants and foodservice providers the same advantages experienced by larger chains. The company raised an initial $4 million to grow the team and expand the capabilities of its proprietary technology. Zitti founders Dante DiCicco (early Snap executive and restaurant owner) and Erek Benz (co-founder of CREXi and other transformative marketplace platforms) built this holistic fintech solution to level the playing field in the foodservice industry with access to secure universal payment terms with transparent and competitive food pricing that delivers AI-driven analytics and insights to streamline restaurant operations from one platform.
"Zitti would have transformed the early years of Mendocino Farms," said Mario Del Pero, Mendocino Farms Co-Founder and Executive Board Member. "Gaining access to streamlined payments with terms we could only dream of and a thrivable market cushion would have saved us so many sleepless nights. Zitti will disrupt the restaurant industry in a "win-win" way that is great for food vendor partners and life-changing for restaurants."
With first-hand knowledge of the challenges restaurant owners face, Zitti is the only fintech company built by restaurateurs for restaurateurs. Designed to make the food supply chain work for everyone, Zitti is building a community for independent restaurants to learn and grow together. Zitti's key differentiator allows smaller organizations to survive unpredictable external business impacts while ensuring their ability to compete with larger restaurant chains.
"Local restaurants are facing tough new challenges from the pandemic, but unreasonable payment terms and outdated purchasing systems have been obstacles for decades. Small-and medium-sized restaurants need a competitive lift, and our platform will bring big advantages," said Dante DiCicco, CEO and Co-founder, Zitti. "I grew up watching my parents juggle paper processes and fight cash flow to stay afloat. Solving these problems is personal for me. For too long, independent restaurants (like DiCicco's) have paid more for their food products than larger chains, received less favorable payment terms, and lacked visibility into how their costs stack up against the broader industry."
While other companies seek to fix one piece of the complex restaurant-vendor payment system, Zitti is on a mission to be the solution that streamlines and powers the entire food supply chain. "Our platform will save restaurant owners, foodservice managers, and vendors time and money in several ways, including cloud-based invoice management, strategic insights on buying patterns and inefficient spending, and buying without all the red tape," continued DiCicco. "The backing of so many top-tier investors, restaurateurs, and food industry veterans speak volumes about the gap Zitti is filling in the foodservice industry."
"Zitti's market potential is immense, with more than 900,000 restaurants and over $240 billion in domestic food supplier business," said Ryan Morgan, Managing Director, Crossbeam Venture Partners. "With unique backgrounds and incredible expertise, the Zitti team has its finger on the pulse of how technology can improve the food industry. Zitti will give restaurant owners a peace of mind not previously available."
In addition to Crossbeam, Zitti's other investors include Vera Equity, a venture firm co-led by Michael Vaughan (Venture Partner at Oak HC/FT, former COO at Venmo) and Jonathan Pomeranz (Partner, Head of FinTech Practice & Co-Head Global Financial Services at True Search), and Broadhaven Ventures, led by co-founder and partner Michael Sidgmore.
Zitti has also received investments from Snap executives and alumni and a suite of key investors across the financial, technology, and restaurant spaces. These include Donald Moore, Former Chief Culinary Officer at Cheesecake Factory, Rodney Williams, Former President & CEO of Belvedere Vodka, Michael Tannenbaum, COO of Brex / Former CRO of SoFi, Jeff Cruttenden, Co-founder of Say and Acorns, Andy Cohen, Former SVP of Sales at Bill.com, Chris Camp, VP of Sales at DoorDash, and more.
Founded by and for restaurant owners, Zitti is changing how the foodservice industry operates by helping small-to-medium-sized restaurants thrive and grow. With a first-of-its-kind operations solution, the scalable mission-driven solution makes payments, credit, and analytics simple without being overwhelming. Headquartered in L.A., Zitti is currently serving select beta customers on the platform and will expand to new markets later this year. Learn more at https://www.zitti.com/.
Joy Capps, Intersect Communications
Andy Hagedon, Intersect Communications