March 25, 2021
General Assembly Pizza, a pizza restaurant located in the heart of downtown Toronto, has recently closed a $13 million Series A financing round, far surpassing the $3.5 million target initially set by the company. The pizza shop first opened its doors in 2017, and found success by serving pizzas made with high quality ingredients and classic Italian technique. When the pandemic began, the business was forced to re-imagine their revenue stream, and in September 2020, General Assembly launched a ‘pizza subscription’ service that has allowed them to generate income while the dine-in aspect of their business remains shuttered.
The ‘pizza subscription’ service lets customers sign up for monthly deliveries of General Assembly’s frozen pizzas, which are made with the same artisanal ingredients and technique as their fresh pizza. The company’s CEO, Ali Khan Lalani, has emphasized their desire to change the typical conception of frozen pizza, and highlights his belief that “everyday culinary moments should be easy, and still delicious”. Clearly this concept has resonated with consumers, as the subscription service has amassed more than 2,000 subscribers since its launch last September.
The success of General Assembly’s subscription service is underscored by the readiness of investors to take part in the recent Series A financing round, which was led by Gravitas Securities. While the investors are said include “a strong and diverse shareholder base”, the details of others who took part in the oversubscribed round have not been made public. Kia Besharat, senior managing director and head of capital markets origination at Gravitas Securities, said in a statement that “the unprecedented reception is a strong validator of the business model and the differentiated value proposition [General Assembly] Pizza brings to the table”.
General Assembly plans to use the proceeds from this round to finance a new pizza production facility, which would allow them to produce 5,000 units per day by Q2 2021, and 10,000 units per day by Q3 2021. With increased production, the company plans to scale their subscription service and expand their offering of frozen pizzas to a broader range of grocery stores in Ontario, and eventually across Canada.
Author: Sasha Seeber