EAT: SETTING THE STANDARD IN THE UAE AND THE MENA REGION | MENA startups, innovation, and tech news

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EAT: SETTING  THE  STANDARD  IN  THE UAE  AND  THE  MENA  REGION
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EAT: SETTING THE STANDARD IN THE UAE AND THE MENA REGION

ABOUT EAT
Eat is the biggest restaurant bookings platform in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). It was founded in Bahrain in 2014. Both restaurants and guests may benefit from Eat’s goods.

Eat offers restaurant management software that includes extensive floor planning tools, CRM capability that includes customer history and preferences, and a mechanism to post targeted specials and discounts.

Eat provides customers with a website and smartphone applications that allow them to explore restaurants near them, identify open tables, and immediately confirm bookings. In real-time, the consumer applications communicate with the restaurant’s table management system.

HOW IT WAS STARTED
In 2014, Nezar Kadhem and David Feuillard created Eat. A Bahrain-based regional restaurant bookings platform has secured an unknown sum of money from Middle East Venture Partners, a venture capital firm (MEVP). Existing investors Tenmou, Pinnacle, and 500 Startups all participated in this round, bringing Eat’s total funding to US$3.4 million. Eat founder and CEO Nezar Kadhem adds, “MEVP’s [latest round] investment will help us accelerate our growth and expand our services across the Middle East, as well as enhance our employee headcount and product portfolio.” MEVP’s expertise in SaaS, scheduling software, and restaurant technology, in addition to helping Eat speed its development, the entrepreneur believes, will benefit them in growing the platform.

Walid Mansour, MEVP’s Partner and Chief Investment Officer, feels Eat has a great product and a business that is “sustainable and lucrative in the medium or long run.” “Eat is well placed to become the top provider of digital solutions to F&B companies across the MENA- beyond its present core markets, and beyond table management,” Mansour says.

Eat is the product of Kadhem’s attempts to discover a better method to accomplish the same thing after his own frustrating experience in early 2013 attempting to make a restaurant reservation. “Reservations over the phone are inconvenient and time-consuming; if I can book an Uber or a hotel room online, why can’t I do the same for restaurants?” Kadhem questioned. Eat, which was launched in 2015, currently serves consumers across the MENA region, including Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia.

Eat also claims to have to pay clients from over 35 countries across the world, and claims to have “seated more than 3.5 million diners till date, earning over $250 million in orders for restaurants in primarily two nations- Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.” On the supply side, Eat claims to have quadrupled its restaurant base in the previous year and increased monthly sales by more than 250%. “Right now, our business plan is to sell our SaaS software and receive a fee on every completed online reservation,” Kadhem explains.

FUNDING
Eat, which was founded by Nezar Kadhem in 2015, received a $3.4 million investment from Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP) in 2016. The firm plans to use the new cash to extend its operations from 1000 to 5000 outlets throughout Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Eat, a Bahraini restaurant booking service earned $5 million in a Series B investment round headed by 500 Startups, Derayah Venture Fund, and MEVP on February 12th, 2020, with participation from a few angel investors and family members.

A total of $300,000 was raised in the second round of financing. Tenmou, Bahrain’s largest venture fund, led the round, bringing their total funding to $400,000. Fawaz Algosaibi, Redha Fathalla, and Mohamed Almoayyed are among Tenmou’s investors. This will be their first investment in an online business, and they are all Bahraini nationals.

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