TabSquare

Singapore-based smart restaurant solution platform TabSquare has raised S$10 million (US$7.2 million) in a Series B round led by Kakaku.com, a Japanese comparison shopping website.

Other investors in the round include Coca-Cola Amatil, Resorts World Inc and existing investor Walden International.

The company will use the newly-raised funding to AI-Powered restaurant solution and accelerate its geographic growth in Asia Pacific including Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

Part of the investment will also be channelled towards doubling its staff count.

TabSquare was founded in 2012 by three INSEAD graduates, Anshul Gupta, Chirag Tejuja, and Sankaran Sreeraman.

Its main products are the SmartTab eMenu and the SmartKiosk — applicable to both sit-down and counter-service restaurants. These solutions use AI to make personalised menu recommendations.

For table service restaurants who have tablets, customers can use the SmartTab to order, view promotions and bills, make payments, as well as give feedback and earn loyalty points.  For quick/counter service restaurants, the SmartKiosk allows for faster order turnover, more cross-selling options and store customers preferences for easy ordering. It also integrates a suite of cashless payment options like Apple Pay and Android Pay.

In addition to these two products, customers can also access mobile solution SmartWeb — a web platform that provides the same functionalities as the SmartTab. All they have to do is scan QR codes that are placed on the restaurant’s table (or wherever is convenient). No app download is required.

The platforms are placed on the cloud and restaurants are able to track orders and view operation performance in real time using a console and a dashboard.

“TabSquare has a very different view of the restaurant landscape and the role AI can play in propelling the industry forward. We believe each diner is unique and should be treated that way. As such, we will continue to invest heavily in AI technology to make it even more effective and personalised using additional data points, and superior algorithms,” said Gupta, in an official press statement.

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Kakaku, which also operates Tabelog, a restaurant discovery and reservation platform, said the restaurant industry can benefit immensely from data-driven solutions, and believes there are strong synergies between the two firms.

“As a first step, we hope to support TabSquare’s growth and regional expansion by sharing our know-how in food tech and the restaurant industry, based on more than a decade of experience of operating Tabelog,” said Genta Sugihara, Executive Officer of Kakaku’s Corporate Development Division.

“Going forward, we hope to benefit from TabSquare’s insights on in-restaurant user experiences, including AI enhanced recommendations, to explore an opportunity to bring them into the Japanese market,” he added.

TabSquare claims that using its platform, restaurants can expect to reap up to 10 per cent higher revenues, cut down operating costs by 10 per cent (for example, due to the reduction in wait staff and food wastage), and increase table turnovers by up to 30 per cent.

The company claims it has 6000 active terminals in the region, serving over 12 million diners annually. Its clients include well-known F&B brands such as Minor Food Group, Sushi Tei, Paradise Food Group, Japan Foods Holding, Zingrill Holdings, Chili’s, Strike Bowling, Old Town White Coffee, and PappaRich.

Image Credit: TabSquare