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.
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.
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.