Investment Round is our fortnightly update on which firms have secured new funding, which areas are seeing the most financing, and who is putting up the cash that enables these companies to keep pushing the capabilities of mobile marketing further.
Allset has closed a $5m (£3.8m) Series A funding round, led by Greycroft Partners with participation from existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Compound and FJ Labs.
Allset offers an app and websites that enables diners to pre-order a meal while reserving their table, paying for it in advance so they can have the food ready when they arrive and leave without having to ask for the bill.
The company makes its money by charging a 12 per cent commission on each order.
“Unlike many other companies, we don't do delivery or takeout. We’re passionate about restaurants and focus on dine-in experiences,” said Stas Matviyenko, CEO Allset. “We believe that going out and eating a nice meal at a restaurant makes our life more enjoyable and productive. But today people dine out a lot less than before because they’re too busy. So we decided to make the restaurant dining experience more convenient and easily accessible for busy restaurant lovers.”
The funding – which along with a previous seed round brings the company’s total to $8.4m – will be used for marketing and expanding its service in the US, beyond the nine cities where it is currently available.
Magic Leap, the somewhat enigmatic Mixed Reality startup, has raised $502m in Series D equity funding, led by Temasek.
Also participating are new investors EDBI, Grupo Globo and Janus Henderson Investors, plus previous investors Alibaba, Google and JP Morgan.
“We’re excited to welcome Temasek and the other new investors in this round to the Magic Leap family. We also greatly appreciate the strong support and partnership from our existing shareholders,” said Rony Abovitz, founder and CEO of Magic Leap.
Singaporean taxi booking app Grab has secured debt facilities of up to $700m, the largest-ever debt financing raised by a Southeast Asian start-up.
The money, raised from an assortment of global and regional banks, will be used to grow Grab’s car rental business, with the aim of creating the largest service of its kind in the region.
“This record-breaking debt financing round clearly demonstrates high confidence in our business model and market leadership from several of the world’s leading banks,” said Grab president Ming Maa. “Now with over 72 per cent market share in the region, we will further consolidate our unassailable market lead through the largest car rental programme in Southeast Asia.”
The funding was announced alongside an exclusive partnership between Grab and Singporean land transport provider SMRT, to help it build its fleet of rental cars.
Supersolid, the developer of mobile games including Super Penguins and Adventure Town, has closed a Series A round totalling $4m.
The funding comes primarily from Index Ventures, along with individual investors. The money will be used to expand the company’s headcount in London, which currently stands at 30, and supporting its latest game, Home Street.
“This investment underscores our belief in the team and their formula for making fun and distinctive games,” said Ben Holmes, venture partner at Index Ventures. “We believe Home Street will be a big success and can elevate Supersolid to become one of Europe’s leading mobile game studios.”
London-based hospitality tech firm Winnow has raised $7.4m growth capital to scale up its ‘global fight against food waste in commercial kitchens’.
The company produces the Winnow Waste Monitor, a system that analyses and records daily waste, which is used in 600 kitchens by brands including Ikea, AccorHotels and Costa Cruises.
The investment was co-led by Circularity Capital, Mustard Seed and D-Ax.
“Globally we throw away an estimated $1trillion worth of food each year. Just focusing on hospitality, that’s a $100bn market opportunity,” said David Mowat, co-founding partner of Circularity Capital. “Winnow has developed a highly effective preventative solution, has the right management team and has proven its ability to deliver value for its rapidly growing blue-chip client base. We are looking forward to working closely with Winnow’s management to support the delivery of its continued international rollout”.
Ometria, the AI-powered customer marketing platform, has raised $6m in Series A funding.
Investors include the US’s Summit Action, Portugal’s Sonae IM, and UK’s Samos Investments and Adjuvo.
“Ometria fundamentally changes the industry, helping retailers meet brand experience expectations for the modern consumer,” said Hamad Alwazzan, partner at Summit Action, who will join the company’s board following the round. “It's a transformative product with huge potential globally. We've introduced Ometria to several US retailers who were so impressed that they became customers right away.”