Thai fixed price buffet app Hungry Hub raises US$450K from Expara, 500 Startups

Hungry Hub

14/8/2019 – Hungry Hub, a buffet app based in Thailand has secured US$450,000 in funding from Expara and 500 Startups. This marks the very first funding for Hungry Hub which had been bootstrapping since its inception.

While Hungry Hub claims to be profitable in the last eight month, the startup plans to raise the seed funding in an effort to speed up on the restaurant acquisition process to reach 1000 restaurants in 18 months.

In fact, the startup is planning to raise a Series A round in the next 12 months, as capital funding for their expansion plans to international cities.

Initially launched in 2014 as a restaurant reservation app, Hungry Hub had pivoted to offer specialized promotions at restaurants.

With a fixed-price dining app concept, the app’s offering includes exclusive buffet deals and sharing set-menus at restaurants with an average per-booking spending of US$80.

“Hungry Hub wants to allow diners to be able to know upfront before entering any restaurant as to how much their food bill is going to come to and for restaurants to drive more revenue through sustainable promotions,” said Hungry Hub Founder & CEO Surasit Sachdev.

According to Sachdev, there has been an untapped potential of group bookings, whether for celebrations or corporate diners, with budgets that can be controlled while ensuring the location, cuisine, and atmosphere are right.

“Customer engagement in food service needs to go beyond the marketing function. Customers are more demanding as they have more choices,” Sachdev added.

Currently operating in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, Hungry Hub is looking to expand to major cities in Thailand and planning a regional rollout in 2020. The company claimed to have seated more than 430,000 diners to date.

Anix Lynch from Expara commented on the deal, saying that “whereas competitors are focused on discounts, Hungry Hub helps the restaurant to upsell and increase revenues while also giving them exposure to a large pool of customers, who directly fits their target market with the ability and willingness to pay.”

Hungry Hub is the first winner in the Pitch Corner event of the Seedstars World Summit 2018 in Switzerland. It was also named the top startup in The Pitch competition for the e-commerce category at the Echelon Asia Summit 2018 in Singapore.

Singapore’s Hashmeta completes acquisition of fashion marketplace ShopperBoard

ShopperBoard

ShopperBoard

12/8/2019 – Hashmeta, a digital marketing agency based in Singapore has recently acquired the fashion marketplace ShopperBoard for an undisclosed amount.

Founded in 2013, ShopperBoard is an app that hosts more than 70 local brands in Singapore, including Love Bonito, Ohvola, Neonmello, which targets online female shoppers.

Khur Boon Kgim, the co-founder of Shopperboard said since its inception, the app has been receiving millions of monthly page views with active users spending more than 12 minutes per day browsing the app on average.

“Our users are highly-targeted young and savvy female shoppers aged between 18 to 44 in Singapore who are regular online shoppers,” Khur said.

Following the acquisition of ShopperBoard, there are no key personnel changes in the fashion marketplace, however, five Hashmeta employees will be joining ShopperBoard, bringing the combined team strength to nine employees.

“We are thrilled to close this transaction and begin integrating the two companies. Our teams have worked closely throughout the acquisition process to create the optimal path forward for the Hashmeta Group,” said Founder and CEO of Hashmeta, Terrence Ngu.

Ngu added that the reason behind this transaction is simple and that is to double-down on the aspects that are providing the most value to their customers, in terms of technology and service.

Moving forward, Hashmeta plans to invest in R&D for the operations of ShopperBoard, in addition to integrating content generated from its influencer network platform, StarNgage into ShopperBoard.

Bigger players like Amazon and Alibaba have launched their own influencer programs, Ngu explained, adding that this acquisition is looking to target SMEs with eCommerce platforms that have yet to be fully involved in influencer marketing.

“Plenty of companies do not have a team to run influencer campaigns. Instead of having an ‘always on’ strategy, they only run influencer campaigns ad hoc. On the other hand, the major players are constantly keeping abreast of such trends and have formed a team to focus on this aspect,” Ngu said.

“Looking to the future we believe that, together, we will be a healthier company with a larger and significantly more diversified revenue base,” he added.

As part of the integration process, Hashmeta and ShopperBoard have taken immediate steps to effect the streamlining and optimization of operations of both organizations.

According to Hashmeta, influencer content and “shop by influencer workflow” will be among the top priorities for the combined engineering team.

Currently, there are more than 30 employees in Hashmeta’s Singapore office and over 15 employees regionally, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and China.

Since its inception in June 2012, Hashmeta has provided digital marketing services for clients including Ferrari, Coca-Cola, and Bytedance. The startup currently employs about 30 people in Singapore and 15 people in China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

In the near future, Hashmeta also said it has plans to open offices in China, Thailand, as well as Vietnam through a joint venture with Kosmebox.