We Got Funded: SaaS F&B Startup FineDine Gets A Boost From Savour Ventures
They plan to use the new capital infusion to "dominate the Gulf region, and grow in South East Asia."
FineDine, a SaaS data-driven digital menu platform and a tablet application for the F&B and hospitality sector, has raised an undisclosed investment from Middle East food vertical accelerator Savour Ventures.
Launched in March 2016 by Duygu Kutluoglu Kilic and Adil Burak Kilic in Istanbul, Turkey, the startup came into being after Burak stumbled on the idea of digitizing paper menus for diners, who would get to see how their choices would be served before being ordered. With CEO Duygu’s project management background and CTO Burak’s skills in software development, the duo launched FineDine as a SaaS menu management platform for restaurants, cafes, bars and hotels to increase sales and customer retention by digitizing the dining experience with interactive digital tablet menus.
The platform enables self-ordering (and soon self-checkout), allowing consumers to decrease the friction between the diner and the kitchen, as well as help managers make decisions based on analytics on the menu and service performance.
Currently, FineDine serves more than 800 customers in 52 countries, mostly in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. Its customers include the likes of Cavalli Club, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Hilton, Raffles Hotels & Resorts, Shangri-La, and Sofitel Raffles in the GCC, South East Asia and USA. Kilic credits their growth to their digital marketing strategy which acquired most of their customers online.
Besides being integrated to restaurant management system such as Epos Now, Clover and more, it also partners with KSA-born startup Foodics’ dashboard to allow guests to place orders from the FineDine app and sent to Foodics’ point of system immediately.
An alumni of 500 Startups’ accelerator program in San Francisco, the startup has also previously received investments from 500 Startups Istanbul, as well as Turkish angel investors Firat Isbecer and Hande Enes. When it comes to advice for startups pitching to investors, Kilic tells entrepreneurs that it’s essential to talk about the long-term vision, rather than just the current status of the project. And with the new investor onboard, Kilic is certain that the startup will make use of Savour Ventures’ network, mentors and knowhow to grasp a deeper understanding of the F&B scene in GCC. They plan to use the new capital infusion to “dominate the Gulf region, and grow in South East Asia.”
THE INVESTOR'S VIEWPOINT
Mona Al Mukhaizeem, Managing
Partner, Savour Ventures
For you as an investor, what made FineDine a startup that was worth investing in?
“FineDine ticks all the right boxes: it offers clear value to both restaurant goers and restaurants, it harnesses technology for scalability, and it has an amazing team behind it, who combines both passion in serving their customers and expertise in the market they operate in.”
Pamella de Leon is the Startup Section Editor at Entrepreneur Middle East. She is keen on the MENA region’s entrepreneurship potential, with a specific interest to support enterprises and individuals creating an impact.