Indonesian restaurant reservation startup Qraved has raised a seed round of an undisclosed amount, led by Rebright Partners and joined by 500 Startups, Skype co-founder Toivo Annus, and Silicon Valley VC. This is 500 Startups’ first investment in the country.
Founders Adrian Li, Steven Kim, and Sean Liao are former Rocket Internet executives. Together, they have chalked up experiences in companies like Pinspire, Wimdu, Zalora, and OfficeFab.
Launched in Jakarta last August, Qraved enables instant online bookings at over 2,500 restaurants in Jakarta. It also focuses on food discovery, with social features for sharing food photos and fellow users.
The founders are self-confessed foodies. “When we first flew to Qingdao, China to discuss a partnership our food agenda was planned before our business agenda,” says Adrian.
The team developed the product in under two months through its engineering base in China, which Sean leads, in order to overcome development talent shortage in Southeast Asia.
The startup plans to expand to Bali and Surabaya later this year and launch their mobile app on iOS and Android in the next few weeks.
Dave McClure and 500 Startups have been looking closely at food tech, especially since Dave smells an opportunity for disruption.
Within Southeast Asia, food tech has been a popular theme, taking advantage of the region’s rich food diversity and culinary obsession.
Kaimen Asia looks set to be Qraved’s most prominent competitor in Jakarta. While under-the-radar, a check of its website shows it already has around 1,300 restaurants in the city.
Founded by TradeHero CEO Dinesh Bhatia, the startup already has a presence in Singapore, Brunei, and Kuala Lumpur. It says it has an inventory of 4,000 restaurants.
Over in Singapore, Reserveit.sg and Chope have been making a splash in the F&B realm since 2011. The latter raised USD 2.5M led by Singapore Press Holdings for 27.8 percent of the company.
Mainstay food review site HungryGoWhere has also launched a restaurant booking feature.