Home FoodTech Seated bags US$ 30M, acquires VenueBook to augment restaurant events business 

Seated bags US$ 30M, acquires VenueBook to augment restaurant events business 

American Startup

Seated bags US$ 30M, acquires VenueBook to augment restaurant events business
Seated bags US$ 30M, acquires VenueBook to augment restaurant events business

New York-based restaurant booking startup Seated has bagged funding of US$ 30M in August 2020 in a combined Series A and B funding round, led by Insight Partners and Craft Ventures along with participation from Greycroft (Bo Peabody, Seated’s Co-founder and Executive Chairman is a venture partner here) and Rho Capital Partners. With the funding announcement, it has also declared its acquisition of an event booking startup VenueBook. The terms of this deal have not been disclosed.

Apparently, this is the first funding divulged by Seated since being founded in 2017 by Bo Peabody and Brice Gumpel, although it had earlier raised two other undisclosed rounds.

Proceeds from the round will be used by the startup in developing its post-COVID-19 launched food delivery service. It will also be utilized in hiring product engineers and individuals in sales and account management.

Seated launched its platform in 2019, which offers a restaurant booking and rewards service and has to date reserved around 900K seats and amassed US$ 37M in revenue for its restaurant partners across New York City, Boston, Chicago and Atlanta. It has covered 800 restaurants since beginning its journey and has also helped in collecting US$ 7M in tips for the restaurants’ staff.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic struck the world, many restaurants were forced to either shut shop or wait for the situation to get back to normal. Research published by scholars from Harvard Business School stated in an article that 40% of restaurants in the U.S. shut down two months into the pandemic, rendering 8 million people jobless, a figure that is three-times more than other industries facing a similar fate.

In any case, it has led to major financial losses for all such restaurants, due to which Seated introduced a new service called Seated At Home, a food delivery system accompanied by rewards for various eateries around the New York area and its customers.

Similarly, it also acquired VenueBook, a startup that enables people to book venues like restaurants to organize parties, celebrations, and so on. VenueBook was founded by Kelsey Recht in 2010 and has since secured almost US$ 10.7M in funding.

Today, the startup has some 120K event planners associated with its service across the New York tri-state area, Denver, San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area, and the widespread Washington D.C. region. The latest acquisition by Seated opens yet another pathway for restaurants to enhance their presence and generate capital. Brice Gumpel, CEO of Seated was quoted to say that, “When you look at doing something new, you look to either create or buy and when we found VenueBook, it made sense to buy so that now we can power demand for events.”

The food delivery segment of Seated is performing well while the events side is waiting for the pandemic to slow down and the resumption of various outdoor activities.

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Aishwarya writes about the startup ecosystem on VCBay. She is a third-year Computer Science engineering student who looks forward to exploring the world of startups and finance.


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