Zitti Lands $4 Million for Its Restaurant Payment and Credit Technology Platform

Restaurant technology solution startup Zitti has raised an initial $4 million for its first-of-its-kind payment and credit platform built for food industry management and vendors. The Los Angeles-based company aims to transform food industry operations by giving small-to-medium-sized restaurants and foodservice providers the same advantages experienced by larger chains.

According to a company statement, Zitti founders Dante DiCicco, an early Snap executive and restaurant owner, and Erek Benz, a co-founder of CREXi and other transformative marketplace platforms, built the fintech solution to “level the playing field in the foodservice industry.”

The company aims to provide “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.”

Among the benefits the platform claims to deliver to restaurant owners and operators:

  • Manage invoices and payments in the cloud
  • Main real-time insights.
  • Get better, universal payment terms.

The funds will reportedly be used to grow the team and expand the capabilities of the company’s proprietary technology.

“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.”

Zitti was built “with first-hand knowledge of the challenges restaurant owners face” and claims to be the only fintech company built by restaurateurs for restaurateurs. Designed to make the food supply chain “work for everyone,” the company seeks to create a community for independent restaurants to learn and grow together.

The company believes that its key differentiator will allow 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“Local restaurants are facing tough new challenges from the pandemic, but unreasonable payment terms and outdated purchasing systems have been obstacles for decades.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.”

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, and VP of Sales at DoorDash.

“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,” said 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.”

The company declares that is is on a mission to streamline and power the entire food supply chain. Only time will tell whether it will succeed in achieving that lofty goal.