The rise of the food-tech space: MAGNiTT interviews Eat App at STEP 2020, following recent $5M fundraise
STEP 2020 was a great opportunity to catchup with some of the MENA ecosystem’s most innovative startups. One such startup MAGNiTT got to meet was Eat App, a restaurant booking platform changing the traditional way of making restaurant reservations. Our team enjoyed meeting and interviewing Eat App Co-founders, David Feuillard and Nezar Kadhem, following the announcement of their $5M Series B funding round at STEP. Find out what insights they had to share and their future plans, in our interview with them!
Q1) To start, tell us briefly about Eat App in layman's terms. How exactly does it work?
Eat App is a restaurant reservation platform. We make it easy for restaurants to sell tables online through our apps and reservation network. With Eat App's in-restaurant software, restaurants get an automated, real-time feed of their table and reservation availability, and we then distribute that availability across our consumer facing reservation network. This allows consumers to book directly with the restaurant online. In addition, the in-restaurant software helps restaurants manage the entire guest experience - from host stand and reservation management, to guest data, CRM and analytics.
Q2) What is Eat App’s big-picture vision for the future?
As more and more of the F&B space become digitized, our goal is to support and drive that transformation across region with technology that scales and supports our restaurant partners across every online customer touchpoint.
Q3) Safe to assume that after a $5m fundraise, Eat App is going to have some exciting growth plans. Can you share some of Eat App’s plans for expansion with us (geographic, product, talent)?
We're going to use this funding to expand and solidify across the region, especially in the fast-growing Saudi market. Eat App will also scale its sales and engineering teams, and invest heavily in R&D, unique IP and technology. Along with this we will be opening regional offices in Riyadh and expanding the team in Bahrain and Dubai. We have succeeded at building a scalable and predictable restaurant acquisition model, and this investment will facilitate rapid expansion.
Q4) What do you believe is the biggest challenge when launching into new regions, specifically within MENA
Launching new markets requires scaling team and getting this right is essential. Executing a proven playbook across different regions, whilst understanding that customer acquisition channels can vary greatly between counties is also very important
Q5) What are some of the most exciting things happening in the food-tech space right now (globally)?
Globally, the food tech space has received impressive funding and is growing at an incredible pace. We think there will be an explosion in data-based solutions in the restaurant industry and it's an area we are investing heavily in. Ultimately, we'll succeed by helping our customers provide the best experience possible to their guests.
Q6) What were you looking for from your investors, beyond capital?
Our investors have provided invaluable support throughout the history of Eat App. With this round of funding we sought out investors who see the potential for expansion into the Saudi market and Derayah VC shares that vision.