Singapore’s restaurant booking site, Chope, has concluded a US$2.5 million round led by Singapore Press Holdings (h/t TechCrunch). Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) now owns 27.87 percent (pdf) of Chope, having invested S$1.81 million ($1.45 million).
I called Arrif Ziaudeen, the CEO and founder of Chope, who said that there are two other “prominent investors” involved in this funding round who he can’t disclose for now. When asked about why SPH has decided to invest, Arrif told me:
SPH believes in the Chope team and want to grow the business. They are investing in us to grow Chope and we definitely hope to work with their food media arm.
In Singapore, Chope competes with HungryGoWhere (acquired by SingTel) on the restaurant booking front. Last month, HungryGoWhere claimed to be “Singapore’s leading restaurant reservations service” with over 15,000 restaurants listed. The HungryGoWhere site also has 100,000 food reviews with over 1.1 million unique visitors per month.
Chope has over 224 restaurants listed on its Singapore and Hong Kong sites. Arrif revealed that 10,000 diners book their restaurants through Chope each week. In July last year, Chope served over one million dinners.
HungryGoWhere was previously more like a Yelp (restaurant reviews) for Singapore and thus its restaurant listing number is definitely higher. On the other hand, Chope’s 224 restaurants, are actual paying customers.
Arrif told me that healthy competition is good; he believes it is still early and there are a lot more restaurants for both HungryGoWhere and Chope to approach. Chope is definitely looking at expanding to a third city with a good food culture but declined to name a specific target. I have also heard that HungryGoWhere is looking to expand outside of Singapore very soon. Expect a land grabbing competition going on in years to come.
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