Restaurant tech Seated bags $30m and acquires VenueBook

18 Aug 2020172 Views

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Seated plans to strengthen its platform by adding features from VenueBook to help restaurants enhance revenue streams during Covid-19.

New York-based restaurant rewards platform Seated has announced that it acquired digital event booking platform VenueBook and raised $30m in investment.

Founded in 2017, Seated is a restaurant discovery app that curates a list of restaurants in different US cities and offers users rewards for making reservations.

According to the start-up, it has filled more than 900,000 seats through its platform. Seated offers diners rewards for Lyft, Amazon, Sephora and Starbucks each time they book a restaurant through the app for the first time.

The company recently launched a takeaway offering called Seated at Home, which aimed to help restaurants enhance revenue during Covid-19 restrictions.

The acquisition of VenueBook

By acquiring VenueBook, Seated said hopes to provide restaurants with a third option on its platform, outside of its existing dine-in and take-out options. With the combined offering, restaurants will be able to offer consumers and businesses rewards for booking private events such as birthday parties or team dinners.

Bo Peabody, executive chair and co-founder of Seated, said: “Events are not only an important part of a restaurant’s revenue stream, but they’re important for internal operations.

“Restaurant events help to increase employee retention because both front and back of the house employees are able to exercise creativity and tap into different skillsets while planning and executing events.”

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The US National Restaurant Association reported that restaurants lost an estimated $120bn during the first three months of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Seated’s goal is to offer restaurants a way to rebuild critical revenue streams, allowing families or smaller groups of people who would like to take extra precautions while dining out to book private rooms.

Peabody, who is also a long-time restaurant operator, added: “We are thrilled to be able to offer yet another way for restaurants to maximise their profitability. With Seated Events, Seated at Home and Seated, restaurants can drive demand to their three primary sources of revenue in a single, easy-to-use rewards platform.”

Funding raise

Seated has also raised $30m in a round led by Insight Partners, with participation from Craft Ventures, Greycroft and Rho Capital Partners. The start-up said that the funding has already helped to fuel its growth and product development.

Brice Gumpel, co-founder and CEO of Seated, said that the firm is always looking for new ways to support restaurants’ profitability and longevity.

“Covid-19 has proved to be one of the toughest challenges the restaurant industry has ever faced and this acquisition and new funding will help us refine our current products to ensure we’re doing whatever we can to help our restaurant partners keep their doors open and remain profitable,” he said.

The company plans to expand its platform and improve performance and capabilities for new product developments.

Thilo Semmelbauer, managing director at Insight Partners, added: “Seated’s expanded vision is compelling and this one-stop platform will be an important piece of the restaurant industry’s recovery and evolution.”

Kelly Earley is a journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

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