TabSquare, a Singapore-based eMenu provider for restaurants, today announced that it has raised SGD 589K (USD 480K) from Get2Volume with co-funding from the Singapore National Research Foundation via the Technology Incubation Scheme.
The company is essentially an end-to-end service provider to restaurants and resorts. It offers a range of products, including interactive menus displayed from tablets, order management systems, real-time queue management systems, and self-order kiosks.
Besides supplying software, the company also provides hardware, security, internet connectivity, analytics, maintenance support, consulting, as well as marketing. Restaurants pay for these services through a monthly subscription, charged based on per tablet menu.
The company has signed up an initial batch of customers. It includes Kinara Restaurant in Holland Village, Singapore, as well as a “high-end resort chain” and several restaurant chains in Singapore. More details will be announced later.
TabSquare also has several new features and products in the pipeline. It is working on integrating its solutions with existing online reservation providers. While specifics have not been revealed, prominent online reservation startups in Singapore would include Reserveit.sg and Chope.
Also in the works is an eButler service for hotels, which enables guests to book services such as spa appointments, room service, and in-room dining — all from a tablet. The company is also set to launch mServe, an iOS and Android app that gives restaurant customers the ability to access a menu, order items, and make payments from their smartphones. This eliminates the need for waiters to hand out menus.
“While there are many restaurant back end systems that manage efficiencies and inventory, there is little that addresses front-end efficiency management and consumer experience in the restaurant,” said Mike Holt, CEO of Get2Volume, an early stage investment firm that focuses on security, biomedics, energy efficiency, and interactive digital media (see SGE’s coverage of Get2Volume’s activities).
Since starting in June 2012, TabSquare has been hiring in order to scale up. In December last year, it posted job offerings seeking a business development executive, an iOS programmer, and a PHP developer.
The company is founded by three INSEAD MBA graduates. Chirag Tejuja, the VP of sales and partnerships, was an engineer and products manager in the plastics industry. He is joined by Anshul Gupta, who has over 7 years of experience in consumer goods marketing and is a programmer, as well as Sankaran Sreeraman, who has done over 8 years of operations and procurement work.
As an end-to-end service provider, TabSquare’s key challenge is scalability. Unlike the usual SaaS startups, the company provides more than software, even going as far as setting up an internet connection for establishments that lack one. These clients need a lot of handholding and customer support, contributing to the company’s operational costs.
The upside is that if TabSquare successfully captures the market, clients would find it hard to switch to an alternative due to the high costs of doing so. That is assuming it is able to demonstrate to customers that implementing these services can lead to greater efficiency, revenue, and customer experience.