Malou, a comprehensive solution designed to help restaurants increase their sales by attracting, retaining, and building customer loyalty, announced this week that it has raised over $10 million in funding. The funding round was led by SaaS B2B experts henQ, Bleu Capital, Bertrand Jelensperger (founder of The Fork), Jim Texier (former CPO of Lightspeed), and several restaurant clients.
Founded in January 2021, Malou offers tailored digital marketing solutions exclusively for the restaurant sector. The platform integrates a restaurant’s Google page, social media profiles, and listing and delivery platforms into a single hub. Using AI and automation, Malou efficiently analyzes and generates responses to customer reviews, creates social media posts, and maintains consistent information across all platforms, thereby enhancing a restaurant’s online presence, SEO, visibility, and social media engagement.
In the current digital age, where 90% of customers choose restaurants online, Malou offers an essential tool for restaurateurs. The platform manages and improves the entire relationship between restaurants and their customers, from discovery and conversion to customer satisfaction monitoring and loyalty building.
Malou has reportedly been adopted by over 2,000 restaurants across 12 countries, including independent establishments, food chains, top chefs, and high-profile restaurant groups. Notable clients include Jean-George Group’s Tin Building marketplace in New York City, Bagatelle Group, and Krispy Kreme.
With the new funding, Malou reportedly plans to accelerate growth in France, enhance product functionality, and expand internationally in France, Europe, the Middle East, and the U.S., with a particular focus on New York City and Paris. Co-founder and CEO Louiza Hacene, who divides her time between these two cities, emphasized the importance of online reputation in the restaurant industry and expressed her belief that the new funding will allow Malou to further improve its product, expand its team, and increase its market reach.
Malou is led by an international trio of co-founders: CEO Louiza Hacene, a Franco-Algerian HEC graduate; CPO Waad Toumi, a Tunisian engineer and CentraleSupélec graduate; and CTO Victor Sage, a Télécom Paris-educated developer. Their combined entrepreneurial vision, commercial skills, and technical expertise have been instrumental in transforming Malou from a restaurant digital marketing agency to an innovative SaaS model tech platform.
“The restaurant industry is one where success so heavily relies on building and maintaining your reputation, especially through your online presence,” said Louiza in a press statement announcing the funding round. “Malou is dedicated to providing the tools to help restaurants connect with potential customers and maintain their relationships with their existing customers, and this new funding will allow us to further improve our product, expand our team, and increase our market reach, especially in the United States.”
Malou’s AI-powered platform offers a range of features to help restaurants improve their online reputation, visibility, and customer engagement. These include centralizing all useful platforms for attracting clients, identifying strategic keywords for Google ranking, collecting and responding to customer reviews, creating and scheduling social media posts, and tracking digital performance. With its focus on simplicity and effectiveness, Malou aims to make digital marketing more accessible and manageable for restaurants, leading to increased visibility and customer attraction.
With a strong foundation, a growing client base, and a renewed focus on innovation, Malou would appear to be well-positioned to help revolutionize restaurant marketing and empower more restaurants to succeed in the digital age.