Distribution startup Cheetah buys 3 Bay Area food vendors

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Restaurants can order merchandise from the Cheetah app for next day delivery. / Photography courtesy of Cheetah

Cheetah, a San Francisco-based restaurant distribution startup, is expanding its inventory by acquiring three smaller Bay Area vendors.

Palo Alto Foods, Joseph Martin Foods and Esteson will become part of Cheetah, the company announced Wednesday. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Cheetah said the additions are a step toward its goal of building a national, high-tech distributor of artisan and specialty foods for independent restaurants. Cheetah closed a $60 million Series C funding round in January and currently operates in the Bay Area.

Founded in 2015, it is one of a handful of modern distributors working to digitize the traditional process to stock up. It has an app where restaurants can browse over 3,000 products, create a shopping list, and place orders for next day delivery. Cheetah also touts its transparent pricing and customer service. More than 3,000 restaurateurs use the app, according to Cheetah’s website.

The acquisition adds three family-owned food businesses to the Cheetah fold and potentially some big customers. Palo Alto Foods, for example, has contracts with Google and Pixar.

“We are thrilled to take the history and lineage of Palo Alto Foods and incorporate it into Cheetah’s vision,” said Paul Jensen, CEO of Palo Alto. “The technology tools and infrastructure that Cheetah has developed will only make our customers happier and I can’t wait to see where we can take this together.”

“Nearly 100%” of the staff at the three distributors will be with Cheetah, the company said.

“We couldn’t be more excited to bring these amazing companies and teams into our family, Cheetah CEO and co-founder Na’ama Moran said in a statement.

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