Salad chain Sweetgreen is going public after 14 years of steady growth after becoming the biggest salad company in the US.
According to Axios, Sweetgreen confidentially filed for an IPO that will likely list in the fall at a price north of $100 million. The company has raised $670 million to date from the likes of Red Sea Ventures and Collaborative Fund, bringing its valuation to $1.78 billion. [Update: The chain upsized the IPO ahead of the offering, raising the possible market value to $3.05 billion.]
Former Georgetown students Jonathan Neman, Nicolas Jammet, and Nathaniel Ru sought to create a salad chain that would taste good and not serve up boring food, all while using ingredients from local farmers. After meeting in an entrepreneurship class, the three co-founders began raising money for their company — and testing out recipes in their dorm rooms — before even taking their finals.
When it launched in 2007, Sweetgreen had just one location in Georgetown (opened just three months after the founders graduated), but expanded the year after to two more in the Washington, DC area. 14 years and 122 locations later, Sweetgreen has emerged as the biggest salad maker in the country.
According to Thinknum data, Sweetgreen’s locations target consumers in coastal cities — if you work in any major US city, chances are there’s a Sweetgreen near your office.
The IPO marks the third in two months for a food or restaurant company, following closely on the heels of Krispy Kreme and Impossible Foods. Although Sweetgreen’s IPO isn’t happening for a few months, investors are buzzing about the debut. It’s no surprise the company’s been dubbed “the Starbucks of salads” — if the IPO is a success, Sweetgreen could be on track to be as ubiquitous as the coffee chain. It has a long way to go, however: Its 122 locations are dwarfed by the 32,000 operated by Starbucks.
About the Data:
Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online, jobs, social and web traffic, product sales, and app ratings, and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue, and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.