Restaurant technology startup Bbot has closed a $15 million in Series A funding led by Craft Ventures, an early-stage venture fund headquartered in San Francisco. To date, Bbot has raised a total of $22.3 million. Founded in 2017 by three naval engineers, Bbot bills itself as a company dedicated to simplifying and improving the ordering and payments process for restaurants.
According to a press statement, the new investment will allow Bbot to continue building its e-commerce platform and meet the rapidly growing demand from developers looking to code their own extensions and applications.
“Restaurateurs are always looking for new ways to provide excellent hospitality experiences,” said Steve Simoni, CEO and co-founder of Bbot. “The way guests want to order and pay has changed forever, and the need for innovative technology that can help business owners compete in today’s digital world affordably and easily is crucial. With this funding, we will continue to invest in creating the most advanced technology platform so our customers can focus on providing high-quality hospitality experiences, instead of worrying about the tools and integrations.”
In the last year, the company has reportedly added over 700 customers and reached 85 employees across 14 states, seeing 700% year-over-year growth. According to a press statement, the new round of funding will help grow Bbot’s platform based on the requests and needs of current customers, including new point of sale and loyalty integrations.
The company will also reportedly focus on features for food halls and virtual brands, further establishing Bbot as the platform of choice for these operators. In addition, the investment will help Bbot finalize and ultimately launch a self-service Bbot app store, which will allow developers to immediately get started using Bbot’s existing platform to code their own extensions and apps.
“We’ve spent the last four years creating a solid base for our technology that we can build upon,” said Simoni. “We are now focused on expanding our platform so developers can integrate the technology for their restaurant clients and create custom offerings.”
Because technology preferences may differ depending on the setting, the platform will cater to a range of casual dining experiences across the hospitality sector, from bars and breweries to food halls and hotels. In some settings, this might mean sitting with your friends while ordering from your smartphone without ever having to walk up to the counter – in others, ordering room service from your smartphone rather than the television or waiting to be redirected by the front desk.
Bbot solutions can integrate directly into a venue’s existing ordering and payment system. Patrons can access digital menus and payment options with any smartphone by entering QR or location codes found at tables within the venue. Bbot offers a wide-range of benefits for hospitality organizations and guests alike, including:
- Enhanced guest experience: Guests can use their smartphones to review a venue’s food or bar digital menu, place orders without waiting and pay at their own pace. No app download or sign up is required.
- Safer ordering without contact: Contactless ordering supports social distancing by reducing close human-to-human interactions and replacing printed menus with “a cleaner digital option.”
- Increased revenue for the restaurant: Guest-controlled ordering increases sales and tips, with high-volume restaurants seeing up to a 15% lift, according to the company.
- Increased productivity: By concentrating on delivery and customer satisfaction, servers are said to be able to cover more ground in less time.
- Dining data: Venue managers gain business insights and are able to access fully customizable reports on sales and workflow patterns, while guests are able to track and receive alerts on the status of their orders.
- Multi-location management: Venues with multi-serving locations such as bars, restaurants and pools may be managed with one system.
- Customized digital presence: Every restaurant can select a branded URL and create a designed web presence.
“Bbot has unique insight into the rapidly changing hospitality industry,” said Reid Christian, General Partner at CRV. “Their vision expands beyond the traditional POS industry, into a fully integrated software and payments platform enabling order and pay for the first time. This functionality enables hospitality operators and software developers to easily introduce features that are being demanded by their patrons and customers. With this latest round, Bbot will deepen its talented bench with key hires and provide additional product enhancements to support the rapidly growing customer base.”