The restaurant start-up booking app is on the crest of a wave as the hospitality industry continues to evolve and wants to be the Airbnb service made hotel reservations.
Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Dubai, the app is cashing in on the paradigm shift currently taking place in food technology and has raised $5 million in Series B funding.
The funding round was led by 500 Startups and Derayah VC, followed by investment from MEVP, an FA venture, and many international venture capital and regional angel investors.
Nezar Kadim, CEO and co-founder of the app, told about the Middle Eastthat they sell software restaurants with a monthly fee.
“We collect available restaurant table inventory software and distribute in real time to customers for online bookings. Visitors to TripAdvisor, Timeout, Zomato, Google and about 30 other local platforms can now instantly make a confirmed booking through the integration of real-time meal table booking technology,” he said.
In addition, he said that there is an application supporting 1000 restaurants, hotels and hotel groups in the Arab world.
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Growth opportunities in Saudi Arabia
Thai-UPS startup with 600 restaurants in the UAE, 100 in Bahrain, 100 in Lebanon and the rest is distributed among Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, etc.
Originally from Bahrain, Kadim said that in the UAE, 80% of his business comes from Dubai, 15% from Abu Dhabi and the rest from other emirates.
“Business continues to thrill us like a table call is time consuming and frustrating,” he said.
In 2019, he said he had a $32 million app in revenue for his restaurant partners and had over 46 million monthly active users of the app.
With offices in four countries, UAE, Lebanon, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia and its online market covers 21 countries worldwide; Kadim doesn't want to rest on his laurels.
“With a $5 million fund, we intend to invest in technology, IP and double our R&D team. We plan to expand our sales teams in the region. We just entered Saudi Arabia and there is a lot of room for growth with a lot of new restaurants, hospitality and the market is totally inadequate in terms of technology,” he said.
The startup raised $2,2 million in Series A funding, including seed funding through last year.
“We have succeeded in building a scalable and predictable restaurant acquisition model and we have an impressive product launch plan targeting new verticals including online restaurant payments, loyalty, POS integration and HR to distinguish from the crowd,” he said.
What's more, instead of competing on the consumer side with all the other sites, he said, “We've given our technology to the sites and we're making sales. We are the largest distributor of online booking technology.”