MARKETS & INVESTING | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

This platform connects empty restaurant tables with empty stomachs

Eatigo’s total funding closed at USD 15.5M after Series B.

A leading online restaurant reservation platform in Southeast Asia, Eatigo’s mission is “to connect empty tables with empty stomachs” via a system of time-based discounts at their partner restaurants.

“We improve the inefficient capacity-utilization of restaurants by sending them diners when they have empty tables and so increase their profitability,” says Michael Cluzel, Co-Founder and CEO of Eatigo.

The platform offers users the opportunity to dine at hundreds of popular restaurants, all of which are discounted, all day, every day and offer 50% off at some point during the day, says Cluzel. “This single-minded focus on yield management for restaurants makes us a global first mover. Eatigo sends 90% of its traffic to partner restaurants during off-peak hours, which helps these restaurants increase profitability,” he shares.

Cluzel founded the platform along with Chief Financial Officer Siddhanta Kothari, Director Pumin (Louis) Yuvacharuskul, and Director Judy Tan.

Eatigo was established because according to the co-founders, F&B is very inefficient when it comes to capacity utilisation, with restaurants experiencing high capacity utilization during lunch and dinner, but low utilisation at other times of the day. Cluzel says F&B’s percentage is only 30% vs airlines’ and hotels’ 80%. 

“This makes for a global market of USD$2.6 trillion operating a 30% capacity without anybody servicing it,” he says. “The opportunity is global, and is a huge and blue ocean. The basic insight is that an empty table is a perishable good just like an empty airline seat.”

Cluzel shares that Eatigo was bootstrapped by its founders all the way to Series A, with no angel or seed round. “While financially painful, this created a very strong focus on sustainability and profitability for both Eatigo itself as well as our merchants and is a key reason why today we have an LTV that is bigger than our CAC, making us one of the very few e-commerce players with positive unit economics,” he notes.

In terms of funding, Eatigo closed at USD 15.5M after Series B.

On the consumer side, Eatigo through its app has managed to provide millions of consumers with an upgraded dining experience. “This is shown by our Google Play and App Store rating of 4.5 and 4.4 respectively, with these ratings coming from over 1 million installs, and are significantly higher than the average e-commerce and transactional app which usually tends to be lower than 4.0,” says Cluzel.

On the restaurant partner side, they send their merchants very significant and profitable traffic. “For our good merchants, we represent 20% to 30%, in some cases 40% of their daily traffic, which is a significant increase,” he shares.

As for upcoming initiatives, Cluzel says the plan is to continue to roll out Eatigo across the region and establish themselves as the leading player in each of their markets by end of the year. “We would also like to build a strong-growth business with sustainable unit economics and simply make our customers happy,” he notes.

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