Here’s a look at Sweetgreen’s DC roots

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After more than a decade of opening new stores and attracting the attention of the big investor, fast-casual salad chain Sweet green framework New York Stock Exchange with a listed offering.

In late October, the company filed an initial IPO document announcing its intent, and filed a change with the SEC last week on terms. The salad trader, which according to PitchBook is valued at $ 1.78 billion, is expected to price its shares at $ 23 and $ 25 apiece, traded under the ticker SG. Following the IPO, the company is expected to be valued at $ 2.7 billion, and it is set to double in size over the next three to five years.

In addition to serving as a success story despite the tumultuous 18 months for the restaurant industry, Sweetgreen has also embraced digitization in its operations. According to the SEC application for listing, 68% of its revenue came from digital orders for its fiscal year, which ended on 26 September. It operates 140 locations in 13 states, plus DC.

The company has not released an official IPO date, but it is expected to begin trading on November 18, according to IPO exchange. The news follows its acquisition of Boston-based automated kitchen company Spyce in August. Financial terms were not released, but the company had raised nearly $ 25 million in total since its founding in 2015.

Although Sweetgreen has made its home in California, the chain actually started in DMV, with ties going all the way back to a small kitchen on M Street. And it’s a root system that remains almost 15 years after the company’s launch.

Here’s how the company sets its requirements DC area:

Its founders are Georgetown graduates.

Back in 2007, Georgetown University alumni Nicolas Jammet, Jonathan Neman and Nathaniel Ru founded the fast-casual chain two months after graduating. Its first store opened on M Street NW in the Georgetown neighborhood (which, by the way, still stands) and rose rapidly to success. Over the next six years, the company added 22 locations in the DMV region and along the east coast of Philadelphia, Boston and New York.

Its connection to Georgetown is actually central to the company’s origins and mission. At the time of the establishment, Sweetgreen’s founders said they started the business with the idea of ​​creating healthy dining options for college students like themselves, and they partnered with local farms and vendors to make that happen. SEC documents show several rounds of financing between 2009 and 2013 totaling $ 6.6 million before a prominent local investor stepped in.

It has DC investors

Local venture capital company Revolution has been a long-time investor in the salad business. Prior to expanding to California, Revolution was a key investor in two rounds of financing. In December 2013 The growth of the revolution invested $ 22 million in expansion and new store openings in Philadelphia and New York City, and Revolutions co-founder and former AOL CEO Steve Case also joined the board as an advisor in the trade.

So, in 2014, Revolution participated in a $ 18.5 million investment round for the company along with Stonyfield Farm founder Gary Hirshberg and Behance Manager Scott Belsky. The funding was used to open its first store in California in 2015, which later led to headquarters moving to Los Angeles in 2016.

In 2015, the company also snatched a round of $ 35 million from, again, Revolution Growth as well T. Rowe Price, an investment firm headquartered in Baltimore. According to the Sweetgreens SEC Supplement, T. Rowe owns 8 million shares of Sweetgreens Class A Common Stock and Revolution Growth owns 6 million, representing 10.6% and 7.8% of the shares, respectively. In January, the company also raised a round of $ 156 million from Lasting capital partners, based in the Chevy Chase, Maryland.

It owns one DC company

While Sweetgreen moved to California for its headquarters, it maintains offices in Arlington, Virginia and in DC. And the area seems to remain a fairly active place in its business.

In 2019, Sweetgreen bought startup of meal delivery Galley, also domesticated in DC, for an undisclosed amount. At the time, Galley said it would continue to function as its own device based on DC. Galley CEO Alan Clifford also joined the Sweetgreen team as VP of logistics through the trade and has since risen up the ranks to VP of digital channels.

Following the acquisition, the two also entered into a partnership in DC with food equity nonprofit Dreaming loudly to offer prepared meals to families in the area.

“We are both companies with DC roots, and we are like-minded in our mission and in our commitment to our customers to better understand them and meet them wherever they are,” Neman said in a statement at the time.


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