Singapore’s instant reservation startup Chope secures US$13 million to integrate cashless payment

Chope, Singapore startup
Singapore’s instant reservation startup Chope secures US$13 million to integrate cashless payment

Chope, Singapore startup

Restaurant reservation app Chope has raised a S$18 million (about US$13.3 million) investment in a Square Peg Capital-led round, alongside with C31 Ventures and Moelis Australia.

This round is Chope’s largest till date, having also seen the participation of existing shareholders DSG Consumer Partners, Singapore Press Holdings, Susquehanna International Group, and NSI Ventures.

Overall, this funding round brings the company’s aggregate funding total to nearly US$25 million.

Chope said they will use the capital to build new features for the application, as well as invest into R&D to pursue AI integration, cashless payments, and social dining.

“We look forward to our next stage of growth with this new capital and strategic partnership,” Chope’s CEO Arrif Ziaudeen said.

“With these resources, we’re positioned to invest significantly in our unique selling point of user experience and customer service, while deepening our reach into our markets across Asia.”

The startup named after the Singaporean slang for reserve is both a reservation app and restaurant discovery platform.

Using Chope’s website and apps, diners can book a dinner date at nearly 2,000 hotels in 8 different cities including Bali, Bangkok, Beijing, Bandung, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Shanghai, and Singapore.

Similarly, diners can use it as a search directory by simply selecting their location, the type of food they want to eat with choices ranging from American to Vietnamese, as well as the time. The app will then derive a list of potential restaurants, their opening hours, and price range.

Since its inception six years ago, the company claims to be the most-widely used restaurant booking system, having more than 3,000 F&B clients that use its suite of technologies to manage bookings, queries, CRM, promotions and prepayments.

According to the startup, more than 60 percent of its customer base are outside from Singapore with Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Indonesia representing the fastest growing markets.

Chope is currently operating at profit and earns revenue through three channels – a booking fee for each diner successfully seated at a restaurant, a monthly software fee to use its proprietary table management system, and a commision on promotional vouchers sold to diners.

Commenting on the investment, Tushar Roy, a Partner at Square Peg Capital said, “We are impressed by Chope’s success in capturing a leading position in Asia’s most attractive, growing dining markets in the premium dining segment.”

“Chope offers a compelling service to both restaurants and diners, and we are excited to contribute our expertise and capital to substantially expand the business.”

Moving forward, Arrif also said the startup plans to double the size of the startup in the next 18 months, in addition to adding another 1,000 restaurants to its existing 2,000 restaurants. The startup looks to hit 6,000 restaurants in 2019.

Singapore’s JustCo raises US$12 million to expand its reach in Southeast Asia

JustCo, Sansiri
Singapore’s JustCo raises US$12 million to expand its reach in Southeast Asia

JustCo, Sansiri

JustCo, a co-working space provider based in Singapore has recently secured US$12 million in its latest Series B funding round from one of Thailand’s largest property developers Sansiri in an effort to fuel its expansion project in Southeast Asia.

According to a filing, the Thai developer completed the transaction last month via its Singaporean subsidiary Sansiri Global Investment Pte Ltd and currently holds 6.09 percent of the JustCo’s paid-up capital.

Following this investment, JustCo’s valuation has also increased to US$200 million.

“We spent the last five years building up a platform with the vision of becoming the dominant player of co-working spaces in Southeast Asia,” said JustCo’s founder and CEO Kong Wan Sing.

JustCo currently operate four locations in Singapore, taking up a total space of 180,000 square feet. The co-working space, however, aims to open more co-working centers in at least six regional countries.

It hopes to have 30 locations in Asia by 2018, covering a total floor space of more than one million square feet. This includes expanding into other Southeast Asian cities like Bangkok, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Ho Chi Minh City and Manila.

“Each market in this region presents its own unique challenges but our groundwork for exponential rollout has been laid and we have cultivated strategic partners in the various countries,” Kong added. “Our inroad for Bangkok will be laid when we partner with Sansiri.”

With this, JustCo foresees its current member base to grow by five-fold from its current 12,000 community.

Sansiri CEO of Apichart Chutrakul elaborates, “We see much potential for the coworking trend to take hold in Thailand and the rest of Southeast Asia and we see JustCo as the right partner to capitalize on this trend.”

“Given JustCo’s track record and its acute business strategy, we are optimistic this partnership will be fruits and we are positive and excited in joining hands with JustCo.”

This is not the first time that the Thai developer has invested in the co-working space business. It earlier teamed up with Thai co-working space operator Hubba to open Southeast Asia’s largest co-working space known as HUBBA-TO, in its community mall project in Bangkok.

In July, JustCo has also joined forces with Shanghai-based co-working space firm Naked Hub, forming the largest chain of premium co-working spaces across Asia to compete with American co-working space giant WeWork.