Spotluck Spins Up $4.8 Million Series A

Leading restaurant app gains strategic investment on the heels of product launch & NYC expansion

Bethesda, MD (May 18, 2017) Spotluck, the D.C.-area startup with a unique “spin” on restaurant apps, announced the closing of $4.8 million in Series A financing led by JOBI Capital, a New York-based venture capital fund. Alongside JOBI, New Dominion Angels and the company’s existing lead investor, RANK Capital Group, also participated in the round.

Founded in 2014, Spotluck’s proprietary technology gamifies restaurant discovery while bringing dynamic pricing to the restaurant industry. With an exciting spin of a wheel, Spotluck users learn about new restaurants and enjoy “smart” discounts that range from 10%-35% off. The app is free for users and the restaurant discounts fluctuate based on factors like day, time and weather, working under the premise that dining out should cost less on a rainy Monday night than on a busy Friday night. These dynamic discounts provide restaurants more business when they need it most.

The principals of newly-formed JOBI Capital possess decades of experience in restaurant technology. According to Spotluck’s CEO, Cherian Thomas, “Our alliance with JOBI provides far more than a financial infusion. JOBI’s team knows firsthand the challenges and rewards of creating a sustainable, balanced restaurant platform. In particular, they helped to scale Delivery Hero, Europe’s largest restaurant delivery platform.”

The funding comes along with other major milestones for Spotluck. Earlier this month, Spotluck expanded to New York City with over 250 local restaurant partners at launch, while also releasing a major update to its mobile app. The Spotluck app update provides users with new helpful features such as cuisine spins, Instagram integration, Uber integration and new mechanisms to earn rewards. Over 1,200 restaurants throughout the D.C. metropolitan area, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and New York currently participate with Spotluck.

“We’re truly impressed with the network of restaurants and users Spotluck has built in its short life. In the crowded space of restaurant apps, they’ve introduced a unique, refreshing discovery tool through gamification and dynamic discounts. This Series A round will help to advance that product and satisfy the appetite of consumers in new cities,” said Bilal Mekkaoui, managing director at JOBI Capital and new Spotluck board member.

Spotluck will use the fresh funds to bolster its presence in its current markets, strategically expand to new cities, and most importantly, evolve its product and technology stack to provide an unparalleled experience for both its partner restaurants and users. “We’re well-poised to handle payments though the app and are exploring integration with restaurant Point-of-Sale (POS) systems. We’re excited to align our interests with New Dominion Angels, and more specifically one of their investor members, Peter J. Rogers, Jr.,” said Thomas. Peter Rogers spent 27 years on the executive team at MICROS Systems, Inc., and is the CEO of Dovetail Systems, which develops and supports the Gusto cloud-based restaurant POS system. “I really like Spotluck’s industry niche and believe that incorporating in-app payments could take the company to the next level,” said Rogers.

About Spotluck

Spotluck is a free iOS & Android app that solves the perpetual “don't know where to eat” dilemma by using a fun game of chance and preferred pricing incentives. The app offers smart discounts that fluctuate based on day, time and weather. Plus, users get one spin per day for a bonus discount at a randomly-selected restaurant.  Spotluck is the #1 “dining” app on the iTunes App Store and currently works with over 1,200 local restaurants across Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Philadelphia, Baltimore, New Jersey and New York.

Spotluck is available for free download on iPhone and Android.

About JOBI Capital

JOBI Capital is a recently set-up New York City-based innovative specialized investment firm, that focuses on the Digital & Retail space with a systematic and unique investment approach.  JOBI Capital's partners have over 20 years extensive experience in the PE/VC sectors with a hands-on involvement with its portfolio companies crucial to build successful businesses.

 

 

Spotluck Restaurant App Launches New York City

Popular gamified discount dining platform expands with 250 NYC restaurants

(New York, NY) - Spotluck has given New Yorkers the app they’re hungry for. Following successful debuts in Washington, DC, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, the popular discount dining platform goes live today in its biggest market yet, New York City. Spotluckers can now “spin” for big savings at 250 restaurants spread throughout the Big Apple.

Spotluck’s unique proprietary technology gamifies restaurant discovery and incentives. With an exciting spin of a wheel, Spotluck users learn about new restaurants and enjoy “smart” discounts that range from 10%-35% off. The free app’s discounts fluctuate based on factors like day, time, and weather, working under the premise that dining out should cost less on a rainy Monday night than on a busy Friday night.

Spotluck’s NYC launch follows a three-week soft launch where the app was available for a limited group of consumers. Today, all New Yorkers may download, spin and save money at Spotluck’s partner restaurants.

Local restaurants (no chains) in neighborhoods spanning Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Hoboken participate on the platform. Among Spotluck’s 250 New York restaurants, popular restaurants include Bait & Hook (East Village), Flatiron Hall (Flatiron District), Grey Bar (Flatiron District), Handcraft Kitchen + Cocktails (Gramercy), Poketeria (Midtown East), Trademark Taste + Grind (Midtown), Beer Authority (Times Square), Il Bastardo (Chelsea), Southern Hospitality (Hell’s Kitchen), New York Beer Company (Hell’s Kitchen), Heartland Brewery (Midtown & Times Square), Café Tallulah (Upper West Side), Stingray Lounge (Hoboken), Cheeseboat (Williamsburg), and Villa Cemita (Lower East Side), with many more expected to join in the coming months.

“New York has many apps offering reservations at fine-dining restaurants, so we’re excited to introduce something a bit different - an on-demand app for the other 90% of the city’s eateries. New York was the number-one most requested city by our user base and we’re satisfying a true need here,” said Cherian Thomas, Spotluck’s CEO.

About Spotluck
Spotluck is a free mobile app that solves the perpetual “don’t know where to eat” dilemma by using a fun game of chance and preferred pricing incentives. The app offers smart discounts that fluctuate based on day, time and weather. Plus, users get one spin per day for a bonus discount at a randomly-selected restaurant. Spotluck currently works with over 1,000 local restaurants across Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Baltimore and now, New York.

Spotluck is available for free download on iPhone and Android.

For questions, please call:
Brad Sayler
Spotluck, Chief Operating Officer
(240) 446-6632
brad(at)spotluck(dot)com

Introducing Spotluck NYC

 
Spotluck-NYC
 

It's been almost three years since we launched in Rockville, MD with 8 restaurants. Our first year, we added restaurants all over DC, Northern Virginia, and Maryland, eventually spreading as far as Frederick and Leesburg. 

When a team member's cousin came to us and pitched Spotluck Philly, we knew the city was too perfect to pass up. So we traveled up 95 and staked our claim across The Greater Philadelphia Area. 

Completing our loop around the beltway with the addition of Baltimore, we were ready to fly. With only three team members and a lot of spirit (read: late night meetings, never-ending excitement, and quite a few cans of Red Bull), we spread the green magic to the big apple. Neighborhood by neighborhood, restaurant by restaurant, we surpassed 1,000+ total restaurant partners and watched as our NYC community grew.

Today, we're proud to introduce today 250 local restaurants all over Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and Hoboken. Welcome, NYC! 

Spotluck Dining App Debuts New Look, More Features

Top dining app unveils new user interface and added gamification

 Bethesda, Maryland - Spotluck, one of the nation’s top discount dining platforms, has put a fresh new spin on its popular mobile app. The update, Spotluck 5.0, provides users with more control, enhances overall usability and incorporates numerous design updates.

New features include:

  • Customized spins/recommendations
  • Curated spins of special restaurants
  • More ways to earn points and spins
  • Reminders
  • Uber® and Google Maps® integration
  • Instagram® synchronization

Among the changes, users may now create their own custom spins by selecting their desired cuisines, neighborhoods, and other criteria. After spinning for a big discount, the app can now help you get straight to your lucky restaurant. The latest update automatically links to Uber® to request a ride to your dining destination, and integrates with Google Maps® for directions.

“We noticed diners are willing to travel further for something fantastic that they’re really craving,” says Spotluck CEO Cherian Thomas. “User experience is important for us and we wanted to make it even easier to not only land on a spot of your choice but to also get there much easier.”

With the simple spin of a wheel, Spotluck users discover new restaurants and enjoy “smart” discounts that range from 10%-35% off. The free app’s discounts fluctuate based on factors like day, time, and weather, working under the premise that going out should cost less on a rainy Monday night than on a busy Friday night.

Spotluck’s app upgrade also coincides with the company’s expansion to New York City, where it is currently operating in a limited soft launch with plans for a full launch at the end of April.


About Spotluck
Spotluck is a free mobile app that solves the perpetual “don’t know where to eat” dilemma by using a fun game of chance and preferred pricing incentives. The app offers smart discounts that fluctuate based on day, time and weather. Plus, users get one spin per day for a bonus discount at a randomly-selected restaurant. Spotluck currently works with over 1,000 local restaurants across Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

Spotluck is available for free download on iPhone and Android.

For questions, please call:
Brad Sayler
Spotluck, Chief Operating Officer
(240) 446-6632
brad(at)spotluck(dot)com