How this Early-Stage Active Startup Raised Sizeable Capital to Bolster the Restaurant and Hospitality Services Sector
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With a new trend of investments in startups now being in place, to actually address ground-level issues plaguing our society, a relatively new venture called UrbanPiper that offers software solutions and Omni-Channel ordering along with loyalty programs for the hotel industry has raised undisclosed venture capital from veteran investor Kumar Vembu.
UrbanPiper was found in 2015, in Bengaluru, by Saurabh Gupta and Anirban Majumdar. The startup very recently underwent a funding round on March 22 with Kumar Vembu leading Axilor Ventures in the round.
Keeping the latest funding raised by UrbanPiper as the focal point, Entrepreneur India interacted with Saurabh Gupta on the funding journey and the models used to attract Kumar Vembu.
Decoding the investment journey and the technology-driven models
With UrbanPiper being a relatively new entrant in the restaurant-solutions domain, it becomes natural to track the progress of investments of the venture.
“Funds raised so far are undisclosed, but we have the backing of Axilor Ventures, and a large group of angels including those based out in Silicon Valley, apart from Kumar Vembu,” stated Saurabh Gupta to Entrepreneur India.
“We were bootstrapped for almost 1.5 years and were revenue positive before we took our first investment from Axilor,”adds Gupta.
Since today’s venture capitalists (even angel investors) mostly seeking robust technology-driven models from new ventures, it only makes sense to track UrbanPiper’s models and how these were leveraged to obtain funding from Vembu and others.
Gupta described that both of UrbanPiper’s model and products are scalable; and connected with Kumar Vembu. He stated that the retaining ability of UrbanPiper’s technology, in cases such as Chai Point, served as the USP.
“We have evolved as a product and packaged some very important features for a hyper-local merchant,” mentions Gupta.
Another factor that led to the latest round of investments was the technical expertise of the in-house team which Gupta describes as “chosen by patience”. He said that he is very conservative on the cash-bun aspects which in turn helped in carefully building the customer base.
These factors were apparently the driving force behind Kumar Vembu’s interest in UrbanPiper’s vision of harnessing the Software-as-a-service (SaaS).
Funding tips for new entrants in the restaurant and hospitality services sector
As a founder of a relatively new venture having managed to draw equity from Kumar Vembu, Gupta advises that it is the ability of models to solve problems that are the key to get investors interested. This is, of course, apart from scalability of business models.
“Funding will happen if you focus on the product and viable business model. Show repeat business and new customers acquisition story month on month for at least few quarters before reaching out to VCs,” signs-off Gupta.