Restaurant Booking Site Chope Raises $2.5 Million Led By Singapore Press Holdings

Willis Wee
1:02 pm on Mar 16, 2013


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.

  • Emi

    Big news.. Congrats to Arief and team!

  • Songer

    How is Chope working with SPH food media arm? SPH got a food media arm?

  • Old

    Decent deal in terms of valuation. Premoney of 3.3-3.4m sgd is pretty good for a firm like chose which i am sure represents probably 8-12 times sales for 2013. Only question I have is why raise so much again? They already raised 1.1m round in 2011. That means the 2 founders expect to run thru 4.2m sgd to grow chope properly over 3-4 years. Feels high…

    Cuz i wonder what is their motivation left? The founders prob own about 30+% left… First round of 1.1 probably at was at post money of 3m max. So that means they diluted 30% or so. So now they are left with 30-37% between the 2 of them. And that assumes no option pool.

  • bryan

    Huge news! The chope team is really solid and I hope they go far. Its interesting thing to see SPH’s involvement in food media.

    I don’t think there is much competition in terms of the reservation service in Singapore. Chope is the clear winner, they have the best restaurants and adoption among Singaporeans. It helps that table inventory system is so easy for restaurants to use.

    You can’t really compare the merchants that use their reservation service to HGW’s total directory listing. Its like apples and oranges. Should be comparing it with HGW’s reservation merchants for an accurate assessment.

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