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SWEETGREEN VALUED AT $1.6B AFTER NEW FUNDING -- FOX BUSINESS

Jonathan Garber | September 24, 2019


The fast-casual salad chain Sweetgreen is now valued at $1.6 billion, up 60 percent from November.

Sweetgreen on Monday evening said it raised $150 million in a round of funding led by Lone Pine Capital and D1 Capital Partners.

“This foundation will allow us to push boundaries and broaden our impact, doing even more with our suppliers, partners, and technology so that together we can bring about industry-wide change,” Sweetgreen co-founder and CEO Jonathan Neman said in a press release.

The company plans to use the money for strategic investments in technology, data, supply chain and social impact. It aims to launch delivery on its own app in 2020.

Sweetgreen, whose investors include Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer, has received $478.6 million in funding since launching in 2007, according to Crunchbase.

Founded in 2007 by Neman and his Georgetown University classmates Nathaniel Ru and Nicolas Jammet, Sweetgreen has more than 400 locations and expects to expand to over 600 by the end of 2019.

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Photo by QSR Magazine

JOINT COLLABORATION DELIVERS FINTECH-LIKE CAPABILITIES FOR CREDIT UNIONS

September 19, 2019 

TransUnion and Rate Reset enhance the credit union digital lending experience -- Source: TransUnion

The user experience across financial services has evolved as consumers are increasingly shifting toward digital channels. To bring the FinTech experience to the credit union industry, TransUnion (NYSE: TRU) is working with Rate Reset to help empower credit unions with new digital capabilities.

“The way consumers engage with their financial institutions has changed and an engaging digital experience is no longer simply nice to have – it’s table stakes,” said Sean Flynn, director of credit unions at TransUnion. “Rate Reset levels the digital playing field by delivering a consumer-friendly experience and equipping credit unions with a technology platform that is in line with those offered by FinTechs and banks.”

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LIVE OAK ENDEAVORS INVESTS IN ZENTILITY

August 29, 2019

Congratulations to Ryan Puesch and his team at Zentility on all their recent accomplishments.  As our newest investment in Live Oak Endeavors, we look forward to your continued success.

Zentility is a technology platform that is pioneering a new industry within retail energy. That industry is Energy Robo-Advising -- taking what “traditional” energy brokers, consultants, or advisors have done for years, and providing an automated, intelligent, transparent, seamless, less expensive, and overall better user experience to the end user.

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SWEETGREEN TAPS HOUSTON FOR TEXAS EXPANSION -- HOUSTON CHRONICLE

Greg Morago | July 22, 2019

Why would a fast-casual salad bowl brand with nearly 100 stores across the country choose Houston for its next expansion?

Quite simply: it felt right, said Sweetgreen co-founder Nicolas Jammet said.

On July 23 Sweetgreen will open the first of two Houston restaurants at 2551 Amherst in Rice Village, to be followed next month at 1303 Westheimer in the former Doc's Motorworks space.


Sweetgreen did its homework on Houston, spending a year and a half learning about the city and how the company's seasonal, healthy food concept – built on supporting small and mid-size farmers committed to sustainability -- would work in the country's fourth largest metropolis.

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Photo by Sweetgreen

SWEETGREEN FOUNDERS NAMED TO FORTUNE'S 40 UNDER 40

In 2007, fresh out of undergrad, Georgetown University classmates Jonathan Neman, Nathaniel Ru, and Nicolas Jammet decided they were sick of the long-held undergrad tradition of scarfing down pizza for most meals and sought to open a salad shop. They started a salad revolution: Since then, Sweetgreen has grown like weeds, with 95 stand-alone restaurants and more than 120 on-demand pickup “outposts” in offices and coworking spaces across the country. Last year, the company began putting some of its ingredients—cherry tomatoes, goat cheese, beets—on the blockchain. Their aim? To track which factors contribute to flavor and monitor the whereabouts of their goods as they move from farm to store, upping the ante for how fast-casual restaurants can integrate buzzy technology into their operations. Last year, Sweetgreen announced $200 million in new funding, which boosted its valuation to more than $1 billion.

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Photo by Reed Young for Fortune

TIGER CORNER FARMS HARVESTS TECHNOLOGY TO GIVE “CONTAINER GARDENING” A REBOOT -- EDIBLE CHARLESTON

Stephanie Hunt | October 18, 2018

Long before Apple, some of our most disruptive innovators were those who grew apples—among other things.  

That’s right: The Steve Jobs and Bill Gates of yesteryear were farmers. Agriculture wizards like Thomas Jefferson, George Washington Carver and Eliza Lucas Pinckney were not so much cutting edge as they were planting edge. They and others advanced the horticultural sciences and improved seed and crop cultivation, while tinkerers like Eli Whitney and John Deere improved harvest techniques.  

These progressives radically changed our economy, our communities, our culture. How ironic, then, that farming today gets imbued with a more regressive than the progressive vibe, a throwback quaintness—overalls and pitchforks—while techie hipsters claim the skinny jeans and pitch decks.  

Not so at Summerville’s Tiger Corner Farms. There’s not a hay bale in sight. Here, purple sci-fi-ish lights look more Star Wars than an old-fashioned Back 40. Elaborate sensor systems monitor moisture and CO2 levels; wires and electrodes link rows of baby lettuces with sophisticated data systems. There are no old red barns looking lonesome and tired amidst vast acres of mud-caked fields; just clean, compact pods—former shipping containers converted into aeroponic growing containers, each one producing up to 7,000 lettuce plants a month.  

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Photo by Shell Royster