Restaurant reservation app Eat has revealed that it has raised $2 million from Bahrain-based investment fund Pinnacle and others. This funding round takes the startup’s total funding so far to $2.9 million, according to a report.
The Bahrain-based firm will use the funds to expand real-time reservation service in the UAE and to enter other GCC markets, it said in a statement. A significant portion of the investment would go towards marketing and customer acquisition, said co-founder Nezar Kadhem.
“We have gone through a planning stage and are now in a position to carry out our next period of growth,” said Kadhem.
“This funding will enable us to hire a stronger sales force to help us reach more restaurants, and deploy a sizable marketing budget to acquire users,” Kadhem said. Currently, Eat has 80 restaurants in Bahrain and 200 restaurants in Dubai.
It has agreements with hotel chains including The Marriott, the Four Seasons, the Taj Group of Hotels, The Ritz-Carlton, and Starwood. It also has clients in countries outside the region including France, China, Colombia, and the US.
The startup raised $100,000 in 2014 led by Bahrain’s angel network Tenmou; $300,000 in 2015, again through Tenmou; and $500,000 in 2015 from private investors in the GCC and France.
The firm also offers a table management software that provides restaurants with an iPad-based reservation and table management solution.
Eat competes with UAE’s Round Menu, UK’s Quandoo and Jordan’s Reserve Out, among others, while its table management service competes with Zomato Book.
Kadhem told Wamda that the plan is to remain focused on one market segment and build a suite of products catered to that market.
“This has worked out for us since the beginning, and we continue to have clients shift from Reserve Out to Eat,” Kadhem said.