www.bizjournals.com • Press Release – updated: Nov 6, 2019
Coming off its $2 million seed funding round it raised earlier this year, FanFood has steadily expanded its mobile concessions business and recently hired its first chief technology officer to help the business improve its tech.
FanFood, launched in 2016, is the maker of a mobile concession ordering platform that allows users to order food and drink directly to their seats at events or request an express pickup from the concessions counter.
Since launching, FanFood has grown to provide its service at more than 70 venues across the U.S., including colleges, theaters and sporting arenas. FanFood can be found at Kenan Memorial Stadium, home to the North Carolina Tar Heels, and Tower Drive-In Theater in Poteau, Oklahoma. In the Chicago area, FanFood is available at South Warrenville High School in Wheaton, Illinois.
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In March, FanFood raised its $2 million seed round from Phoenix Sports Partners, a Chicago-based sports technology, media and marketing investment firm. The startup, whose offices are in River North, now employs more than 20 people and said it plans to be at 38 by the end of the year.
FanFood was founded by CEO Carson Goodale, one of Chicago Inno’s 2018 25 Under 25 honorees. FanFood was one of nine startups in Chicago’s first Veterans in Residence, a six-month program organized by WeWork and Bunker Labs that gives free co-working space to veteran entrepreneurs. Goodale, who served in the National Guard, also participated in 1871’s youth accelerator, Future Founders.
To help it continue to grow, FanFood hired Jeremy Niecikowski as its first CTO. He began his new role back in July, with one of his first tasks being to update the FanFood app with refreshed branding and better functionalities. The new version launched Oct. 24 and allows users to search for venues, toggle between express pickup and in-seat delivery, and track their orders in real-time, the company said.
Some venues have rolled out their own concession-ordering services. Fiserv Forum, home to the Milwaukee Bucks, unveiled a Coors Light Beer Button last year, which allows patrons to order a beer directly to their seat.
Niecikowski brings nearly 20 years of experience to FanFood. He was previously the technology lead at Peapod, and the director of technical operations at both Uptake and Grubhub.
“I was extremely impressed with the leadership team’s vision and passion, and I have strong faith in the product and concept of stadium mobile ordering, which I believe will very soon become mainstream,” Niecikowski said in a statement. “I also saw a lot of opportunity to expand on the current technology, building out new platforms to allow better integration with stadiums.”