The following article, From Architecture To Food Delivery: The Journey Of Caviar's Founder, was first published on Flag And Cross.
Shawn Tsao initially envisioned a career in architecture, but his path took a dramatic turn when he and his close friends from the University of California, Berkeley, ventured into the food industry.
Their first attempt was a daily deals app, but it didn’t resonate.
Their futures depended on a fateful encounter they had in a bar on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley at the end of 2011 when they had to decide whether to stick it out together and try a fresh idea or go their separate ways and hunt for work.
“After a couple of beers, we decided we were going to continue this startup journey and come up with something new,” said Tsao.
A pivotal conversation reshaped their direction, leading to the birth of Caviar.
It was the simple craving for a sandwich from Ike’s Place that ignited the idea. Instead of emulating the “Groupon for food” model, Tsao and his pals envisioned becoming the “Uber for food.”
Caviar’s unique proposition was its collaboration with restaurants that lacked delivery services, offering a curated food delivery experience.
Tsao realized that if Caviar could sign, say, the “best burger or best taco” in the neighborhood, customers would start talking.
By 2014, Caviar’s rapid ascent caught the eye of Jack Dorsey’s payment platform, Square (now rebranded as Block).
Square acquired Caviar in an all-stock deal for a reported $90 million, and then flipped it to DoorDash for $410 million.
“A lot of the best companies solve the simplest of problems,” said Tsao in media reports.
“For us, it was: Give me a sandwich,” said Tsao.
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Edited by Miriam Onyango and Newsdesk Manager
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