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Angel Investor (Individual)

Investments

3

Portfolio Exits

1

About Nathaniel Ru

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Latest Nathaniel Ru News

Sweetgreen Hires New Marketing Executive

Aug 21, 2023

Michael Kotick adds award-winning marketing, innovation, and communications experience to the team from his time working with fast casual and CPG food brands. In his role, Michael will be responsible for overseeing Sweetgreen’s marketing and menu strategy, and will report to Nathaniel Ru, Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer. Prior to joining Sweetgreen, Kotick served as Chipotle’s Senior Director of Marketing. He was responsible for driving Chipotle’s purpose-driven marketing through national campaigns, brand and sustainability actions, menu and product innovation, digital marketing, loyalty program growth, and in-restaurant experience. Kotick has been recognized as one of Business Insider’s 25 Rising Stars in Brand Marketing, and has earned a Master's in Global Management from Thunderbird School of Global Management, an MBA in Marketing and Finance from Michigan State University, and a BA in Economics from Michigan State University. Chad Brauze brings extensive menu innovation experience from quick service to fast casual and fine dining restaurants. In his role, Chad will be responsible for overseeing the Sweetgreen menu development and the innovation roadmap, and will report to Nicolas Jammet, Co-Founder and Chief Concept Officer. Brauze joins Sweetgreen from Burger King where he was the Senior Director of Culinary Innovation and Sustainability. Prior to that, he was the Director of Culinary and Menu Development at Chipotle Mexican Grill. Image eTip , a cashless tipping and digital gratuity platform in North America, announces its general market availability in the United Kingdom and various nations of the European Union. The launch furthers eTip’s market expansion strategy, enabling it to service customers with global portfolios and franchise businesses, as well as to reach new international service industry businesses. eTip’s customers range across the services sector, including retail, restaurants, hospitality, and any industry where a worker’s income includes gratuity, tips, and service fees. Customers include leading brands across these industries that leverage eTip’s platform to support digital acceptance and disbursements of gratuity and tipping that utilize eTip as a benefit to incentivize employee retention, as well as businesses that wish to provide their guests with a secure and contact-free way to show cashless appreciation for services directly from their digital wallets or with a QR code. Need to Know: EU Labor Changes eTip accelerated its efforts to launch in Europe to prepare customers in advance of changes to European labor regulations that are actively impacting any businesses that accept tips. In May 2024, the UK’s Employment (Allocation of Tips) Act 2022 received royal assent. The Act creates a legal obligation for employers to fairly distribute gratuity, tips, and applicable service charges between workers and is slated to be enforced by May 2024. With eTip, impacted businesses can seamlessly meet the new requirements, including digitally dividing qualifying tips and charges fairly, allocating tips instantly, well within the one-month payout period, and maintain records in line with reporting standards. Further, the eTip employee app enables workers to track gratuity and tips in a single app, request payouts in real time, and hold employers accountable to the new standards. The regulation follows similar regulatory reforms sweeping Europe, including Ireland’s Payment of Wages (Amendment) (Tips and Gratuities) Act 2022 which went into effect in December 2022 and where eTip is already actively working with customers. In addition to the ability to meet current changes and forthcoming regulatory requirements in tipping, customers working with eTip benefit by being able to scale digital tipping to existing or upcoming operational expansion plans. Customers can leverage eTip’s existing benefits integration or utilize its turnkey service, lowering the barrier of setting up payouts when entering a new market. Further reducing employee onboarding friction, eTip is available in multiple languages, including Spanish, Italian, French, English, and any language native to the markets its customers operate in. The general availability of eTip in Ireland, the United Kingdom, and in time, all nations of the EU is a critical step in its broader vision to bolster service sector businesses and empower workers globally by digitizing archaic cash-heavy functions with a seamless digital tipping and gratuity solutions. Image Juniper Group is excited to announce the successful acquisition of Vervotech , a tech start-up making significant strides in the Travel Industry with innovative products, particularly hotel mapping and room mapping solutions. Vervotech's flagship product, Vervotech Mappings, has gained widespread recognition in the travel sector for its ability to ensure consistency and accuracy in hotel data. This strategic addition complements Juniper's powerful booking engine, setting the stage for a synergistic collaboration that aims to revolutionize the industry. With this acquisition, Vervotech gains access to Juniper's extensive resources and vast industry knowledge. This empowers the company to enhance the capabilities of its products, making them more intelligent and efficient, while also investing further in research and development to remain at the forefront of cutting-edge travel technology. "Joining forces with Juniper is an incredible opportunity for Vervotech to impact the global travel industry. By combining our expertise with Juniper's industry-leading booking engine, we'll deliver unparalleled value to our customers and partners," said Sanjay Ghare, Co-founder and CEO of Vervotech. "Leveraging Juniper's network and resources, we aim to establish a strong foothold in Europe, North America, and the Middle East, providing cutting-edge solutions to a diverse range of travel companies and enhancing their business performance." With this acquisition, Vervotech will continue to operate independently, driven by the same passion and dedication that has made them a leading force in the travel technology sector. This will enable Vervotech to integrate with more tech partners, alongside Juniper Travel Technology, allowing the company to serve more customers around the world. "We are excited to welcome Vervotech to the Juniper family," said Jaime Sastre, CEO at Juniper Group. "Their mapping products and solutions perfectly align with our vision of driving transformation in the travel industry through advanced technology. With Vervotech's expertise, we are confident in providing our customers and our travel technology companies with even more comprehensive and reliable mapping solutions, empowering them to thrive in today's competitive landscape." Image eTip , the leading cashless tipping and digital gratuity platform in North America, today announces its general market availability in the United Kingdom (UK) and various nations of the European Union (EU). The launch furthers eTip’s market expansion strategy, enabling it to service customers with global portfolios and franchise businesses, as well as to reach new international service industry businesses. The launch solidifies eTip as the pioneering solution for digital tipping internationally with support for customers operating in the United States, Canada, and Europe. “eTip has been on the forefront of providing digital tipping to customers in the US and Canada,” notes Nicolas Cassis, CEO and Co-founder at eTip. “With expanded market availability, we can meet the demand we’ve heard from customers with global portfolios, as well as support non-US brands eager to provide tipping and gratuity payouts to hospitality, retail, and restaurant workers in real time.” eTip’s customers range across the services sector, including retail, restaurants, hospitality, and any industry where a worker’s income includes gratuity, tips, and service fees. Customers include leading brands across these industries that leverage eTip’s platform to support digital acceptance and disbursements of gratuity and tipping that utilize eTip as a benefit to incentivize employee retention, as well as businesses that wish to provide their guests with a secure and contact-free way to show cashless appreciation for services directly from their digital wallets or with a QR code. eTip accelerated its efforts to launch in Europe to prepare customers in advance of changes to European labor regulations that are actively impacting any businesses that accept tips. In May 2024, the UK’s Employment (Allocation of Tips) Act 2022 received royal assent. The Act creates a legal obligation for employers to fairly distribute gratuity, tips, and applicable service charges between workers and is slated to be enforced by May 2024. With eTip, impacted businesses can seamlessly meet the new requirements, including digitally dividing qualifying tips and charges fairly, allocating tips instantly, well within the one-month payout period, and maintain records in line with reporting standards. Further, the eTip employee app enables workers to track gratuity and tips in a single app, request payouts in real time, and hold employers accountable to the new standards. The regulation follows similar regulatory reforms sweeping Europe, including Ireland’s Payment of Wages (Amendment) (Tips and Gratuities) Act 2022 which went into effect in December 2022 and where eTip is already actively working with customers. In addition to the ability to meet current changes and forthcoming regulatory requirements in tipping, customers working with eTip benefit by being able to scale digital tipping to existing or upcoming operational expansion plans. Customers can leverage eTip’s existing benefits integration or utilize its turnkey service, lowering the barrier of setting up payouts when entering a new market. Further reducing employee onboarding friction, eTip is available in multiple languages, including Spanish, Italian, French, English, and any language native to the markets its customers operate in. The general availability of eTip in Ireland, the United Kingdom, and in time, all nations of the EU is a critical step in its broader vision to bolster service sector businesses and empower workers globally by digitizing archaic cash-heavy functions with a seamless digital tipping and gratuity solutions. SparkPlug  and  Toast  announced their official partnership, enabling restaurants to motivate and reward frontline staff. SparkPlug  is an incentive platform for restaurants to leverage their employee roster and menu items to launch personalized incentives, show employee standings in real time, automate payouts, and track ROI, all in a confidential, centralized dashboard. Toast  is a cloud-based, all-in-one digital technology platform purpose-built for the entire restaurant community. It works with integration partners in its  Toast Partner Ecosystem , a curated portfolio of more than 200 partners who deliver specialized technology and services to help restaurant operators increase sales, engage guests, and keep employees happy. "We are thrilled to welcome SparkPlug to the Toast Partner Ecosystem, and delighted to offer our customers automated and personalized staff incentives through SparkPlug's platform," says Keith Corbin, Senior Director, Business Development from Toast. "By partnering with SparkPlug, restaurants can now motivate and retain staff with customized incentives." Impact is seen quickly, as evidenced by Joy Hill restaurant in Denver, which experienced a remarkable 450% increase in Kimchi Pizza sales and a 128% surge in Gelato units sold within the initial month of implementing the first SparkPlug campaign. Restaurants benefit from the SparkPlug and Toast integration in multiple ways: Real-time ROI tracking: View incentive campaign ROI, period-over-period sales lift, and employee standings via a secure analytics dashboard. Gamification: Introduce an element of friendly competition, as employee leaderboards are updated daily, further encouraging a high level of customer service and teamwork. Improved staff retention: Easily identify and reward top performers, promoting employee loyalty and reducing turnover rates. "In the face of the ongoing labor shortage, it is crucial for restaurants and food service operators to adopt inventive strategies to attract, sustain, and retain outstanding employees," stated Jake Levin, Co-Founder and COO of SparkPlug. "We are excited to collaborate with Toast in equipping businesses with the necessary resources to inspire, engage, and compensate their staff, which will aid them in overcoming the current labor challenges and retaining skilled workers long-term." By fostering a culture of recognition and reward, incentives will boost staff morale, job satisfaction, and retention, ultimately translating into a better guest experience. Image Airtame , creator of the hardware-enabled SaaS platform that allows seamless collaboration in businesses, launched a powerful new screen sharing feature that makes presentations in hotel conference rooms simpler and more secure than ever before. With the new award-winning Share from Browser feature, local businesses and hotel guests utilizing conference rooms and boardrooms can use any popular web browser to instantly initiate screen sharing from personal devices to Airtame-powered displays without requiring any new app downloads, installations or cables and dongles, ensuring a simple and efficient meeting experience. “Share from Browser addresses some of the most pressing criticisms of modern collaboration tools in conference rooms, and democratizes screen sharing and hybrid communication for all users,” said Susanne Lund, Airtame CEO. “This is especially useful for businesses utilizing hotel space for important meetings. They do not want to spend valuable time figuring out how to screen share, which could create a frustrating experience. We are always looking for ways to make collaboration easier and more powerful, and in hotels it’s especially vital that all users paying to utilize conference rooms are able to quickly and easily present their content without training, from whatever device they are using.” With no login, training or special skills required, Share from Browser eliminates any existing barriers to wireless screen sharing for in-person presentations while enhancing digital security. Once connected to the local WiFi network, a guest can simply follow on-screen instructions to visit the Airtame Browser web app on their personal device, then choose whether they want to share their whole desktop or a specific browser tab or window. Because users don’t have to enter any personal passwords or credentials to connect, they can display their content and presentations without downloading any software or sharing any private information. Share from Browser is compatible with Chrome, Edge, Firefox and Safari, for ultimate flexibility and easy access, and will be available on all Airtame screens on subscription. The launch of Share from Browser follows a beta period in which Airtame users provided feedback on the feature’s strengths and weaknesses, resulting in a refined user experience that ensures foolproof screen sharing. “Airtame is constantly developing new platform features and benefits to make flexible and hybrid conference room collaboration more efficient and reliable,” Lund said. “Share from Browser maximizes productivity and delivers a seamless screen sharing experience for all Airtame users from CEOs to visiting guests – in the coming months we will support the same experience for conferencing to continue our mission to remove obstacles and stressors from collaboration technology.”

Nathaniel Ru Investments

3 Investments

Nathaniel Ru has made 3 investments. Their latest investment was in Calidad Beer as part of their Angel on April 22, 2019.

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Nathaniel Ru Investments Activity

investments chart

Date

Round

Company

Amount

New?

Co-Investors

Sources

4/22/2019

Angel

Calidad Beer

$2.5M

Yes

1

9/13/2016

Seed VC

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$99M

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10

3/2/2016

Seed VC - II

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$99M

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10

Date

4/22/2019

9/13/2016

3/2/2016

Round

Angel

Seed VC

Seed VC - II

Company

Calidad Beer

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Subscribe to see more

Amount

$2.5M

$99M

$99M

New?

Yes

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Co-Investors

Sources

1

10

10

Nathaniel Ru Portfolio Exits

1 Portfolio Exit

Nathaniel Ru has 1 portfolio exit. Their latest portfolio exit was Lola on December 01, 2023.

Date

Exit

Companies

Valuation
Valuations are submitted by companies, mined from state filings or news, provided by VentureSource, or based on a comparables valuation model.

Acquirer

Sources

12/1/2023

Acquired

$99M

2

Date

12/1/2023

Exit

Acquired

Companies

Valuation

$99M

Acquirer

Sources

2

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