Enlightened Hospitality Investments (“EHI”), a strategic investment manager affiliated with Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group (“USHG”), today announced the close of its second fund, Enlightened Hospitality Investments II, LP (“Fund II”), with $332 million in capital commitments, above its $300 million fundraising target. Fund II received strong support and enthusiasm from EHI’s existing base of Limited Partners. The fund also welcomed a group of new institutional partners, college endowments, strategic investors, and family offices.
Similar to EHI’s inaugural fund, Enlightened Hospitality Investments, LP (“Fund I”), Fund II will primarily seek to make minority growth equity investments of $10 million to $30 million in high-growth, category-leading companies, with a particular focus on fine casual restaurants and technology companies that fuel hospitality, all of which share USHG’s ‘Enlightened Hospitality’ strategy and mindset of prioritizing employees among all other stakeholders to drive customer satisfaction and ultimately attractive and sustainable investor returns. EHI will continue to leverage USHG’s 35+ years of experience, relationships, and track record, as well as EHI’s established network of founders and investors to identify and partner with best-in-class businesses and provide differentiated post-investment value-added services.
“We are inspired by the resilience of the community of businesses in Fund I that have not simply endured the unprecedented challenges of the hospitality industry but have adapted and thrived. We consider it a privilege to build on this legacy and use Fund II to provide continued strategic growth equity for businesses built on a culture of hospitality to drive stakeholder success.” said Danny Meyer, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of EHI and Chairman & CEO of USHG.
“We are enormously grateful for the continued support from our Fund I investors who are joining us in this second chapter as well as the fresh enthusiasm from new investors whom we are welcoming into the fold,” said Mark Leavitt, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of EHI. “In addition to our role as a strategic growth partner with operational experience and unparalleled resources, we are especially proud of the unique ecosystem we have created among our community of companies and our strategic investor base. EHI’s value extends far beyond our capital commitment and our network is much more than the sum of its parts.”
Fund I closed in October 2017 with $220 million in capital commitments. Since inception, EHI has raised more than $550 million across its funds and has made fourteen investments in industry-leading hospitality, technology, and consumer businesses, including Joe Coffee, Resy, Salt & Straw, Goldbelly, Dig, Tripleseat, BentoBox, Madison Reed, Banza, CLEAR, Tacombi, 7shifts, NotCo, and withco. The Fund I portfolio has experienced several exits and liquidity events including Resy’s acquisition by American Express in 2019, CLEAR’s public market debut on the New York Stock Exchange in June 2021, and BentoBox’s acquisition by Fiserv in October 2021.
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP served as counsel to EHI. EHI engaged no intermediaries in the raising of the Fund.
About Enlightened Hospitality Investments
Enlightened Hospitality Investments (“EHI”) is a value-added strategic investment manager formed to leverage the brands, businesses, and team of Union Square Hospitality Group (“USHG”) to identify growth potential and investment opportunities in both internal and outside ventures. EHI partners with portfolio companies to provide strategic direction, operational experience, increased visibility, and access to relationships, resulting in significant value creation for all stakeholders. For additional information on Enlightened Hospitality Investments, please visit www.ehi.fund.
About Union Square Hospitality Group
Union Square Hospitality Group (“USHG”) has created some of New York’s most beloved restaurants, cafes, and bars, which offer outstanding food delivered with its signature warmth and hospitality. Founded by CEO Danny Meyer with the opening of Union Square Cafe in 1985, and later, other restaurants including Gramercy Tavern, The Modern, and Daily Provisions, the company extends its innovative approach to hospitality beyond the walls of its eateries. USHG offers operational and hospitality consulting via Hospitality Quotient, runs a multifaceted catering and events business, Union Square Events, and created a growth fund, EHI. USHG also created Shake Shack, now a separate public company (NYSE: SHAK). USHG has long supported its communities through hunger relief and civic organizations. USHG holds an unprecedented 28 James Beard Awards and has earned numerous accolades for its distinctive style of hospitality.