YourNest-backed food-tech aggregator SmartQ secures $1 mn

Bengaluru-based Bottle Lab Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which runs food-tech startup SmartQ, has raised $1 million (Rs 6.5 crore) from a consortium of investors from Dubai.

The company said existing investor YourNest has also participated in the funding round.

SmartQ will use the capital to increase its customer base both in India and in overseas locations. The company said its digital cafeteria solution is growing at 50% month-on-month and claimed to clock 100,000-plus transactions every day.

Founded by Krishna Wage and Abhishek Ashok in July 2014, SmartQ helps users to avoid long queues in food courts across corporate parks and multiplexes.

“This will take us to the next level of strategic growth and in further scaling up technology, talent and brand building. With our partners’ firm belief in our business strategy and our solution-providing capabilities, we will accelerate our growth,” said SmartQ CEO Wage.

In May 2016, it had raised $250,000 (Rs 1.7 crore) in a pre-Series A round led by YourNest Angel Fund and former BabyOye.com CEO Vijay Jumani.

Anvita Varshney, former managing director of Lazada group, has joined the startup’s board of advisors. Neeraj Sharma, former Asia Pacific vice-president at tech giant HP, had earlier joined as a mentor to the SmartQ team.

“SmartQ has been able to build on a huge customer base and has been serving some of the best and large-scale businesses. It can take it to a global scale,” said Varshney.

One can sign up to the SmartQ app to select food outlets in the vicinity, and choose between dine-in and takeaway options. The company has also tied up with mobile wallets, including PayUMoney and Paytm, to enable cashless transactions. It charges a commission for every order serviced by its platform.

YourNest fund manager and managing director Sunil K Goyal said that the company has captured a good market share by providing greater customisation and choices in product offerings.

While Wage is an alumnus of IIM-Calcutta, Ashok is an alumnus of Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. SmartQ is the second venture that Wage and Ashok have co-founded, after ADding VALUE, an advertising startup.

Online food-tech companies have recently been in news for rasing siginificant amounts of money. While Swiggy and Zomato raised big cheques last month, Ola had acquired Foodpanda late last year.

In January, Hungerbox, which connects caterers and corporates, had raised $2.5 million. Hwoever, Mobile app Zeppery, which had a similar model, had to recently shut shop citing high customer retention costs.

YourNest is an angel fund and has backed more than 16 startups, including Mycity4kids, Proof of Performance, Uniphore Software, Simpli5D Technologies, Bookmycab, GolfLan, BetaOut and Rubique.com.

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