Tech-forward quick-service chain Starbird Chicken raised $12M in a capital raise led by KarpReilly, a private investment firm based in Greenwich, Conn. The funds will boost its ongoing growth, including through new company restaurants and securing ghost kitchen sites. The round will also help with solidifying licensing arrangements and driving its new franchise program.
Founded in 2016 by CEO Aaron Noveshen, Starbird has grown from one unit to 9. This year, it produced sales growth of 26% compared to 2020 and a 75% increase over 2019.
Starbird has infilled the San Francisco Bay Area market, and plans to enter Southern California by year’s end.
“Over the last 18 months, consumers’ needs and wants have changed dramatically,” said Ryan Greene, a principal at KarpReilly. “They’re interacting with restaurants in a different way and have become even more particular about what they eat and how they purchase it. Starbird has clearly demonstrated it can deliver premium, high-quality food and an unrivaled customer experience even in the most difficult operating environment. We are proud to partner with Starbird on this investment and look forward to its continued growth as it expands its business to reach more customers in the US.”
Starbird offers a menu of “feel good crispy chicken,” leveraging modern conveniences and tech-enabled innovation. The chain also operates several virtual restaurant brands, including Starbird Wings, Starbird Salads, Starbird Bowls, and the brand’s recently-added plant-based concept, Gardenbird. The chain has opened across several formats: streetside storefronts, stadiums, airports, and ghost kitchens.
“From day one, we saw something special in Starbird,” said Greg Dollarhyde of Dollarhyde Investment Group III, an original investor in Starbird and previously, the lead investor. “This innovative concept is in a league all its own. I truly admire the passion that Aaron (Noveshen) and his team have for delivering their vision, and welcome KarpReilly as thoughtful investors and partners. Starbird continues to beat every expectation.”
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