Dublin-headquartered Flipdish, offering an innovative online ordering and digital experience platform for hospitality, has just closed €87 million from Tencent. This brings the company value to €1 billion and adds it to 2022’s growing list of European unicorns.
Tencent will join existing Flipdish investors Tiger Global, Global Founders Capital, Elkstone, Enterprise Ireland and Growing Capital.
Founded in 2015 by brothers, Conor and James McCarthy, Flipdish allows hospitality businesses to deliver seamless consumer digital experiences which drive business growth. The unicorn provides technology that powers QR code order & pay-at-table, online ordering for collection & delivery, self-service kiosks, customer loyalty, and digital marketing.
Digitisation has of course been powering changes across sectors for a few years now, but within the hospitality sector, the pandemic has spurred on an acceleration of digital change.
Conor McCarthy, Co-Founder and CEO of Flipdish, said: “Digitisation has been transforming the hospitality sector for years. The ongoing pandemic has further accelerated the trend with hospitality businesses becoming increasingly dependent on digital experiences to attract and retain customers. Our investment will help us to empower more hospitality businesses around the world to grow with the best-in-class technology.”
Already operating in 25 countries worldwide, including France, Germany, Ireland, Spain, the UK and the US, the young startup has both well-known brands and independent restaurants as customers. Leading Irish brands Dunnes Stores, Romayo’s, Base Pizza and Bombay Pantry are among clients, and international companies such as Subway, Cojean, and Galeries Lafayette are also using the Flipdish product.
Flipdish also works with some of the world’s largest ghost kitchen companies, which partner with the likes of TGI Friday’s, White Castle, Dickey’s BBQ Pit, and many more.
2021 saw a boom for the hospitality tech company and its revenues grew across multiple markets. This growth was fuelled not just by a move to digitalization, but was also brought on by a trend amongst restauranteurs to bring their online ordering capability in house, rather than relying on a food delivery marketplace, as well as the rapid adoption of Flipdish’s on-premise solutions like QR Code Order & Pay, and the growth of exciting new verticals like dark kitchens.
The fresh investment will be used to grow global operations, fund R&D in products that improve the hospitality industry’s digital experience for consumers and support new customers like cinemas, stadia and airports. In addition, the innovators plan to hire an additional 700 people in 2022, with the majority of roles in tech – software architects, data scientists, engineers and product designers.
As part of the ambition to fuel local economy’s and support local restaurants with their tech, the Flipdish team are disrupting the digital food-ordering industry. The startup recently launched a Support Local, Order Direct campaign – which aims to make consumers more aware of how to order directly from restaurants, ensuring that a majority of profits stay with independent kitchens and money is funnelled back into the economy.
This new announcement and the exciting innovation coming from Flipdish certainly marks an exciting start to 2022. It’s going to be a big year!