Shamrock Capital backs point-of-sale company Appetize

  • Rolling out concession sales technology at sports, concert venues
  • LA firm leads $20 mln growth equity investment
  • Appetize may hire up to 80 people in 2017

Shamrock Capital Advisors expects Appetize, a point-of-sale technology provider for concession businesses at live entertainment and sporting events, to go on a hiring spree in 2017.

The firm led a $20 million growth equity funding round for the three-year-old company, which plans to use proceeds to add as many as 80 employees and bring its total employment up to 150 in Los Angeles, New York and Atlanta in the New Year.

Andy Howard, partner at Shamrock Capital, said the Los Angeles firm sees strong potential for Appetize’s professional-sports and live-music vertical markets. It also plans to continue its expansion into convention centers, university campuses and theme parks as well.

“It’s about offering an improved customer experience,” said Howard. “You don’t want to wait in line for your food longer than you should. Appetize’s solution will enable you to shorten your experience waiting in line for concessions, or even merchandise or parking, so you can enjoy the event that you paid good money to see.”

For ticket buyers at live events, Appetize runs time-saving payment kiosks at concession and merchandise stands. In some venues, you can also order food from your seat from your mobile device and have it brought to you.

Oak View Group, an investment and corporate holding company, also participated in the financing round for Appetize.

Tim Leiweke, founder and CEO of Oak View Group, is former CEO of Anschutz Entertainment Group. Irving Azoff, a board member of Oak View, is known in the entertainment industry as the manager behind acts including the Eagles and Maroon 5. Azoff is also CEO of Azoff MSG Entertainment, a venture with Madison Square Garden Co.

Appetize has already handled deployments at Live Nation venues, as well as Madison Square Garden in New York City.

For its part, Shamrock Capital also has ties to the entertainment industry, including the origin of its predecessor firm in 1978 as the investment company for the late Roy E. Disney.

The investment in Appetize came from Shamrock Capital Growth Fund VI LP, which closed in February with $700 million in commitments.

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A point-of-sale terminal from Appetize, backed by Shamrock Capital. Photo courtesy of Shamrock Capital.