It’s common for wealthy tech employees to become startup investors once they have made it big.
But there’s also a growing connection between the world of tech and the world of food. That’s partly because the San Francsico Bay Area is both the capital of the current tech boom and one of the leading culinary centres in the world.
Tech investors and execs have been investing in all kinds of restaurants, from boutique coffee shops to salad chains.
Sequoia Capital, a VC firm that's backed Apple, Google, and Oracle, invested in grilled cheese restaurant The Melt in 2011. Sequoia reportedly invested at least $10 million.
San Francisco-based Philz Coffee just finished raising $15 million in a round led by Summit Partners, which has invested in Uber.
Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom, Twitter co-founder Evan Williams, and Twitter investor Chris Sacca poured nearly $26 million into Blue Bottle, a boutique coffee chain, in early 2014..
Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey is an investor in Sightglass Coffee. Jerad and Justin Morrison, who founded Sightglass, started out working at Blue Bottle.
Dandelion Chocolate is a small-batch chocolate shop founded by Todd Masonis, who sold his startup, Plaxo, to Comcast in 2008 for between $150 and $170 million.
Mark Pastore worked at Sun Microsystems and Tumbleweed Communications before co-founding Boccalone in 2007, a shop dedicated to cured meats. 'Tasty salty pig parts,' is its slogan.
Sweetgreen, a salad chain, got $18.5 million from Revolution Growth in late 2014, which is led by a group of AOL execs.
Craft Coffee is backed by Y-Combinator, a famous Silicon Valley startup accelerator. It offers coffee subscriptions from roasters around the country.
Alta CA, a San Francisco restaurant and bar serving modern American dishes, is backed by Exitround CEO Jacob Mullins and former Twitter director Ryan Sarver.
Jamba Juice has been back by a number of venture capital firms over the years, including Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's Global Retail Partners (now called Upfront Ventures).
Google chairman Eric Schmidt is an investor in Lyfe Kitchen through his venture capital fund Tomorrow Ventures. Lyfe Kitchen offers nutritious, low-calorie meals in cities like Palo Alto, Boulder, and Chicago.
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