EazyDiner, an online table reservation venture co-founded by well-known Indian food journalist Vir Sanghvi, has secured US$3 million in Series A funding co-led by returning investor DSG Consumer Partners (the backer of OYO Rooms, Zipdial and Mswipe) and Saama Capital (an investor in e-commerce majors such as Snapdeal and Paytm).
EazyDiner, which started with operations in Delhi in late 2014, has also announced its expansion into Mumbai. The startup will use the funds to further expand into other Indian cities, with plans to launch in Bangalore and Pune by the end of this year.
The latest funding comes four months after the firm secured US$1 million from DSG with participation from Gulpreet Kohli, former Managing Director at ChrysCapital.
EazyDiner is an online restaurant reservation platform that helps users read concise reviews and recommendations by top critics, find great restaurants and bars, and make online reservations within 30 seconds. Diners also have access to and can talk to an experienced food concierge for personalised recommendations.
The platform currently lists over 19,000 restaurants and bars with menus, and offers real-time reservations at over 500 partner restaurants in Delhi-NCR and Mumbai. It has an advanced database of active diners and recommendations by top food critics.
The company claims that it has grown 25X over the last seven months and will book 10,000 diners in August alone, up from the 400 diners in January.
Given the penetration of smartphones in India, 25 per cent of the bookings made to date are via the EazyDiner iOS and Android apps, and this is expected to increase as mobile becomes the preferred booking method. The platform also provides a customised experience to its diners through an expert concierge service, which allows diners to call a trained concierge team that not only provide recommendations but also assist with bookings at even hard-to-get-into restaurants, said an official statement.
“There is tremendous opportunity in the dining out segment for a focussed reservation play. With the curated content approach led by the illustrious Vir Sanghvi, bringing the convenience and ability to get real-time confirmation when booking along with deals with every booking makes EazyDiner an attractive proposition for the consumer,” said Ash Lilani, Managing Partner and Co-founder of Saama.
Another online table reservation engine operating in India is TableGrabber. Gurgaon-headquartered global restaurant reviews venture Zomato — with massive VC funding in reserve — also forayed into the table reservation segment early this year by acquiring NexTable in the US.