Dining Reservation Platforms Wars: Reserveout Raises $4M
The online restaurant reservation platform Reserveout has closed a $4.1 Series A round of investment, bringing its total equity funding raised in less than a year to $5.4 milllion.
The round was led by Silicon Badia, with the participation of 500Startups and existing investors iMena Group and Jisr Venture Partners, as well as other investors.
Founded in 2012, Reserveout has seated over 10 million diners in restaurants covering 8 cities in the region. This year, the platform is witnessing 30% growth month-on-month, mostly driven by its mobile apps.
It will use the investment to expand its presence in the region – with a focus on Saudi Arabia and Egypt – and enhance its app offerings. Khalil Shadid, founder and CEO of ReserveOut, also aims to increase the adoption the platform’s Table Management System by restaurants.
An Increasingly Competitive Space
Reserveout currently has 50 employees across three offices in Dubai, Amman, and Beirut. However, it is up against serious competitors in the region’s $16 billion restaurant dining industry.
Recently, the online reservation platform eat entered the UAE market, the first step it its GCC expansion. The newcomer covers some 100 restaurants in Dubai, compared to Reserveout’s 540 addresses across the UAE. In Bahrain, however, eat has the home advantage and covers 62 fine dining venues (around 95% of the market), compared to 56 for Reserveout.
Reserveout also covers Beirut, Amman, and Jeddah, but the region could soon grow too crowded for such platforms. It currently has leads in India, South Africa and recently announced it has already begun working with restaurants in Shanghai, and will use part of the round’s proceeds for expansion into growth markets beyond the Middle East. eat has seen growing demand for its technology from restaurants in Australia, the UK, and Mexico, among others.
Both platforms are Arabic-enabled and their apps have been downloaded an equal number of times on Google Play and practically have the same rating. For now, eat is only at the app stage and hasn’t developed a website yet (which could be a game changer). Like Reserveout, it is planning to leverage its cloud-based real-time reservation management platform for restaurants in order to dominate the market.
Among users of ReserveOut’s Table Management System are the Hyatt and Rotana hotel chains across the Middle East.
In Bahrain, eat offers diners a complimentary ride with Uber to the restaurant they booked. For now, this service is only available to first-time users in Dubai, but eat is considering establishing a full system.