Over $40 Million Committed from PWP Growth Equity and Existing Shareholders to Support National Expansion
SEATTLE, Wash. (March 5, 2015) – MOD Pizza (“MOD”), the pioneer of the fast casual pizza segment, today announced a significant milestone – the first closing on a financing that is expected to exceed $40 million. PWP Growth Equity, a private equity fund managed by Perella Weinberg Partners that invests in growth-oriented, lower middle market companies, was the lead investor, supported by existing MOD shareholders. This brings the total equity raised by MOD to more than $70 million, establishing the company as one of the most well-capitalized emerging fast casual concepts in the country.
“MOD has always focused on building for the long-term, and this infusion of capital will allow us to invest significantly in strengthening our business as we accelerate the opening of company owned stores across the country,” stated Scott Svenson, co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer
of MOD. “The PWP Growth Equity team brings an enormous amount of value to MOD, including a successful track record of developing an impressive list of consumer brands. Most importantly, they fully embrace the MOD culture and support our commitment to building a purpose-led organization,” noted Svenson.
MOD, which currently operates 32 stores in Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, Colorado, and Texas, plans to double its store base by the end of June. Before the end of 2015, the company expects to open its 100th store, including the first MOD locations in Illinois, Missouri, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington DC, North Carolina and South Carolina. Along with a highly-experienced group of franchise partners, MOD intends to build a national brand known for
its commitment to “service with a purpose.” David Ferguson, co-head of PWP Growth Equity, stated, “Over the past seven years, MOD has diligently built an organization to support significant expansion while maintaining its unique and dynamic culture. With this significant investment, we are confident that MOD will be able to clearly establish itself as the leader in the fast casual pizza category.”
As part of the financing, David Ferguson and Chip Baird will join MOD’s Board of Directors, joining a group of industry leaders and executives who bring experience from such iconic brands as Starbucks, Panera Bread and Dunkin Donuts.
MODs Board members include:
Scott Svenson – Co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, MOD; Co-Founder, Seattle Coffee Company and Carluccio’s Ltd; Former President, Starbucks Europe
Ally Svenson – Co-Founder, Vice President of Marketing, MOD; Co-Founder, Seattle Coffee Company and Carluccio’s Ltd
Jim Alling – Chief Operating Officer, T-Mobile; Former President, Starbucks International and Starbucks North America
Nader Naini – Founding General Partner, Frasier Healthcare Ventures
Lindsey Schwartz – Chief Executive Officer, Schwartz Brothers Restaurants and Bakery
MODs Advisory Board members include:
Gerry Adams – Partner and Head of Hospitality Group, Peterson Sullivan
Howard Behar – Former President, Starbucks North America and Starbucks International
Adam Brotman – Chief Digital Officer, Starbucks; Founder, PlayNetworks
Paul Twohig – President, Dunkin Donuts; Former Chief Operating Officer, Panera Bread; Former Senior Vice President, Starbucks
Chip Baird, co-head of PWP Growth Equity, commented, “Scott has assembled a very high quality leadership team supported by an impressive group of advisors and shareholders who bring incredible industry experience. Over the past few months, we have had an opportunity to spend significant time with the team, getting to know them and their vision for the business. We are pleased to be partnering with MOD to support them during this exciting phase of growth.”
Cascadia Capital acted as advisor to PWP Growth Equity.
ABOUT MOD PIZZA
MOD’s individual artisan-style pizzas are made on demand, using fresh-pressed dough and signature sauces. Guests can create their own pizzas and salads, using any combination of 30 featured toppings, or they can choose from a menu of MOD classics. Pizzas and salads are the same price regardless of the number of toppings. Pizzas are hand-cooked in an 800 degree oven in less than 3 minutes and salads are individually hand-tossed for each customer. MOD also serves local draft beers, wine, handspun milkshakes, and house-made lemonades and iced teas. Founded in 2008 by Scott and Ally Svenson, MOD was inspired by the couple’s love of Italian street-style pizza, their desire for authentic, affordable and fast dining options for their busy family and the idea that a great company could be built around people. The company has been recognized as one of the “Top 50 Breakout Brands” by Nation’s Restaurant News, named one of the “Fastest Growing Private Companies in America” by Inc. Magazine, ranked as a “Fastest Growing Private Company” (2013 and 2014) by the Puget Sound Business Journal and named one of “Washington’s Best Work Places” by the Puget Sound Business Journal (2013 and 2014).
ABOUT PWP GROWTH EQUITY
PWP Growth Equity is a private equity fund, managed by Perella Weinberg Partners Capital Management LP, focused on growth-oriented, lower middle market companies, primarily in the United States, across the consumer, services and industrial sectors. PWP Growth Equity seeks to partner with existing owners and management teams, providing both capital and experience in a tailored and flexible structure, to support the growth plans and visions for value creation.