Said when something appears or happens so quickly or easily that it seems to be magic.
– Definition of ‘Presto,’ Cambridge English Dictionary
also NASDAQ: PRST
If you believe automation will continue to be more prevalent in the face of a crippling labor shortage…you already believe in Presto.
I’ve believed in Presto since 2008, when we were its first investor. It was my first investment after founding Remus in my MIT dorm room; today, it is a public company and I have the honor of serving as our Chairman. Founder Raj Suri’s mission remains the same: to transform physical industries like restaurants with next-generation automation technologies. Presto is a great example of the AI platforms that are emerging in every vertical.
It might seem magical that Presto is now trading on the NASDAQ, but it required real tenacity to get this deal done and go public in the aftermath of COVID and in this market environment—the worst since Remus and Presto were founded in 2008. Helping close this deal ranks among the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, and I’ve had to pull a fair number of rabbits out of hats over the years.
While Presto is treating being public as just another funding milestone, we intend to take full advantage of being a public company. We are in a position of strength and will have many options to raise cash if we ever need to do so. We have a liquid stock that will be valuable to acquisition targets and employees during the oncoming recession. We have a powerful brand augmented by the pixie dust of the NASDAQ. Finally, we have incredibly strategic partners in the form of Cleveland Avenue, who are renowned in the industry as operators and investors.
All of these assets are in the service of the customer at a powerful time in the arc of technology adoption. Presto’s enterprise restaurant chain customers have real pain points associated with labor; Presto delivers world-class technology and implements it system-wide, which is something no other company in the space can claim. This transaction should make it a no-brainer for customers to choose Presto – a long-term public company with a strong balance sheet, clear financials, and a decade of experience – over startups with little enterprise experience and opaque or uncertain financials heading into a recession next year.
Raj and I are completely aligned on the long-term approach we take to the company. We will not succumb to the short-term instincts that have too often felled great American companies. We embrace that progress must be measured in the now, but the horizon must always be surveyed in years, not quarters.
I’ve always believed in Presto. To win a war, you need vision, talent, and capital. We have all three – and we have magic wands. Onward, Presto!ᐧ