Rajat Suri is a technology entrepreneur who is best recognized as being the founder and Chief Executive Officer of East la Carte, makers of a guest-facing restaurant tablet called Presto.
Rajat Suri, a Toronto native, graduated from the University of Waterloo with degrees in economics and chemical engineering. Suri then went on to pursue his Doctor of Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).
The Presto Tablet allows guests to order food, play games and pay from their table. Suri got the idea to start East la Carte while he and his friends struggled to split the bill at a restaurant. He discovered that the payment and ordering process could be simplified while giving guests an opportunity to control their dining experience.
Suri dropped out of Massachusetts Institute of Technology to become a waiter at a local restaurant called The Asgard Irish Public and Restaurant to learn about the restaurant industry.
East la Carte was founded in 2008 and is currently located in the Silicon Valley. The company is backed by Y-Combinator and raised initial funding from angel investors including SV Angel, Dave McClure, Joshua Schachter, Roy Rodenstein, and Skip Sack.
In 2011, the company raised $4 million from Lightbank. East la Carte received a round of Series B funding of $13.5 million from Intel Capital in 2013.
Applebee’s, one of the nation’s largest casual dining chain restaurants, announced that it will deploy 100,000 of East la Carte’s Presto tablets in more than 1,800 locations throughout the United States in 2014.
Suri also co-founded Zimride in 2007 as a Facebook-based ride sharing application. In 2013, Zimride changed its name to Lyft. By 2013, Lyft has received approximately $83 million in venture capital funding including investors such as Andreessen Horowitz, Floodgate, Founders Fund, K9 Ventures, and Mayfield Fund.
In 2014, Lyft announced that was looking to raise $150 million in Series Doctorate funding.
Lyft now operates in more than 20 United States. cities.