To truly understand the real-world influence of today’s fastest-growing consumer-facing marketplace startups and private companies, it helps to have a little context. Is that headline-grabbing venture capital darling of three years ago still gaining user and market share, or is it struggling and stagnating? How can you tell?

Even if you follow industry trends, it’s not always easy to know how well the most innovative, disruptive, and well-funded startups are actually doing. That’s why the Marketplace 100 matters.

Launched in early 2020 by venture capital giant Andreessen Horowitz (known as “a16z”), the Marketplace 100 is an independent ranking of the major players to watch in the startup space. These are often companies that are on the verge of becoming synonymous with their respective industries, and often nearing a “graduation” via acquisition or IPO. When a startup appears as a “freshman” listing on the Marketplace 100, it’s often a sign that big things are on the horizon.

In 2022, Fooda appeared on the Marketplace 100 at #82, joining the likes of ezCater and LunchDrop in the “Food & Beverages” category. It’s no mistake that these firms all share a common philosophy, seeking to turn workplace meals into a powerful perk that will help businesses lure employees back to the office. (Take a look at Fooda’s 2023 Workplace Food Strategy guide to learn more about this trend.) The Food & Beverages category makes up the largest segment of the freshman cohort (16.2%), indicating heavily increasing demand in the sector overall.

Business growth plays a significant role in the Marketplace’s listing and ranking criteria, but it’s not the only element. Other factors of the list’s marketplace activity score include Bloomberg’s Second Measure Gross Merchandise Value, Apptopia’s app performance tracking, and WebSimilar’s website performance tracking. To be included on the Marketplace 100, a company has to be firing on all cylinders. 

While there are substantial differences between Fooda, ezCater, and LunchDrop, all three have positioned themselves as a workplace perk. With the business world steadily moving away from the remote work status quo of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s not always easy to convince workers to give up the comforts of their home offices. By using startups like Fooda to provide great local food as a job perk – either at a discount or for free – companies are increasingly able to lure employees back to the office.

Of course, simply being ranked on the Marketplace 100 is no guarantee of future success. Like any other yearly ranking, a16z’s list changes with the demands of the time. Unlike the other companies in the category, however, Fooda is in a unique position to take advantage of greater market trends by offering a wider range of services. 

hand holding a phone with the Fooda App showing the main screen with menus. 5 Further screens are shown with discounts, adding items to cart, rewards, feedback, and push notifications highlighted.

One reason for this is that the company’s technology was well-suited for the needs of pandemic-era employers. After all, Fooda was designed to provide cost-efficient, locally sourced meals to small armies of workers through a variety of flexible food programs. These programs include options like on-site popups from local restaurants, workplace convenience services, event catering, and cafeteria replacement. Now that companies across the country are rethinking the value (and the economics) of their old employee meal programs, Fooda is uniquely positioned for serious growth.

Is your company looking to lure employees back to the office with great local food? Fooda may just be the perk your workers have been hungry for. Let’s talk about lunch.