POLITICO Washington – Pajoras Pajors, the first of its kind, has secured $100 Million in loans from billionaire hedge fund investor Peter Thiel to expand its footprint in the US and to add more than a dozen stores in California, Florida, Michigan and Texas, the company said Wednesday.
Pajoras, which has more than 100 restaurants in 28 states, announced in January that it had secured a $50 million loan from Thiel to help expand its restaurants in California and expand its food-service business.
“It was a huge win for our team and the brand,” Pajoras CEO Matt Cawthon said.
“It was an investment in our brand and we’re incredibly excited to expand our footprint and grow.”
Thiel is a longtime Silicon Valley venture capitalist who has previously made money through his PayPal, Twitter and Uber ventures.
He is a backer of the Trump administration’s tax reform plan, and he has long backed conservative causes, including Trump’s call to scrap the Affordable Care Act.
He said he would work with Pajoralas to expand into California and other states.
“We are thrilled to have the support of Peter Thiel in our efforts to grow and expand,” he said.
Thiel said in a statement that the loan is contingent on Pajoranas meeting certain financial and operational benchmarks, and the company will “engage in an aggressive plan to expand and grow the Pajori brand.”
Pajora’s first two stores will open in California by late 2021, expanding the company’s footprint in Los Angeles and San Francisco, he said in an email to The Associated Press.
The chain will expand to six more stores in the coming years.
Thuel has been a major investor in many Silicon Valley start-ups, including Instagram and Pinterest, and has invested in companies such as Dropbox and Airbnb.
Pawel Szczepanek, Pajoros CEO, said the company has already invested in new restaurants in San Francisco and San Jose, and will continue to invest in California as a whole.
Paws, the parent company of a nearby chain of Pajdoras locations, is expected to open another Pajorean location in San Diego in 2018, Szczepsa said.
“We are very excited to have Peter Thiel as our new investor and the commitment to build a strong presence in California,” he told The Associated Report.