Restaurant industry payment facilitator Toast is contemplating an IPO, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. An offering could value the company at as much as $20 billion, the newspaper said.
The WSJ report said that Toast is working with investment banks Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase on a possible listing, but it is also considering other options such as a sale or merger with a blank check or special purpose acquisition company. It also may choose not to pursue any of the possibilities. Toast has not confirmed the report.
Toast raised $400 million in February last year, with a valuation at the time of $4.9 billion. But the pandemic has meant a turbulent year for the industry the company serves, as restaurants have been some of the businesses hardest hit by the need for lockdowns and other restrictions on gatherings.
Throughout 2020, the company announced new services and features geared to helping restaurants overcome the challenges of the pandemic, including delivery services and contactless payment methods, as well as fundraising support.
Recently, the company announced that its efforts on behalf of restaurants had paid off, with customers using its All-in-One platform outperforming those that did not adopt the tools by as much as 30%. An increase in Toast’s own customer base resulted in a 70% increase in recurring revenue, it said.
In an article in the Boston Globe, local restaurant owners celebrated the idea that the Boston-based company could be gearing up for an IPO. The newspaper quoted business owner Jefferson Macklin as one of Toast’s local clients.
“I think the world of them — they have consistently listened to restaurateurs and come up with a great product,” Macklin said.
The company worked closely with area restaurant customers to help them through the worst of the pandemic, according to the article, using feedback from them to help with product development.
“They understood the pain the industry was in and worked hard to soften the blow,” the paper quoted Macklin as saying.