Seated Announces $30M in Funding and the Acquisition of VenueBook to Further Expand its Rewards Platform in Support of Restaurants
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Seated, the leading restaurant rewards platform dedicated to helping restaurants thrive, has acquired digital event booking platform VenueBook. Following the recent launch of pickup and delivery service Seated at Home, this strategic acquisition solidifies Seated as the only comprehensive platform for restaurants to enhance all three main sources of revenue: dine-in, pickup/delivery, and private events. Now restaurants can offer consumers and businesses rewards for booking all private events from smaller occasions like birthday parties and team dinners to large-scale celebrations like corporate happy hours and holiday parties.
“Events are not only an important part of a restaurant’s revenue stream, but they’re important for internal operations. Restaurant events help to increase employee retention because both front and back of the house employees are able to exercise creativity and tap into different skill sets while planning and executing events,” said Bo Peabody, Executive Chairman and Co-Founder of Seated and a long-time restaurant operator. “We are thrilled to be able to offer yet another way for restaurants to maximize their profitability. With Seated Events, Seated at Home, and Seated, restaurants can drive demand to their three primary sources of revenue in a single, easy to use rewards platform.”
It’s estimated that private events typically make up 10-15% of a restaurant’s revenue, and up to 20% of a restaurant’s profit. With the National Restaurant Association reporting that restaurants likely suffered a loss of more than $120 billion during the first three months of the COVID-19 pandemic alone, Seated Events provides a seamless way for restaurants to begin rebuilding this critical revenue stream, allowing families or smaller groups of people who would like to take extra precautions while dining out to book private rooms.
“We are always looking for new ways to support restaurants’ profitability and longevity, and with the acquisition of VenueBook, Seated Events offers a new way for restaurants to drive demand in yet another revenue stream,” said Brice Gumpel, CEO and Co-Founder of Seated. “COVID-19 has proved to be one of the toughest challenges the restaurant industry has ever faced and this acquisition and new funding will help us refine our current products to ensure we’re doing whatever we can to help our restaurant partners keep their doors open and remain profitable.”
Building upon its success in New York City, Boston, Chicago, and Atlanta markets, this acquisition of VenueBook expands Seated’s presence to the New York tri-state area, Denver, San Francisco and Bay area, and Washington, D.C. and the surrounding region. Seated will also work with VenueBook’s stable of 120,000 professional event planners who can now book clients’ events on the platform.
“The last few months have proven to be incredibly difficult for restaurants, but Seated has continued to show up for its partners,” said Kelsey Recht, CEO and Founder of VenueBook. “VenueBook was built to make booking private and event spaces simple in order to help restaurants maximize revenue, and we’re thrilled to join Seated to support more restaurants through these challenging times.”
Seated secured a total of $30M in funding, led by Insight Partners with participation from Craft Ventures, Greycroft, and Rho Capital Partners, which has rapidly fueled its growth and agile product development. Originally focused on dine-in bookings, Seated evolved its business model in response to restaurants’ changing needs throughout the pandemic with the addition of pickup and delivery with Seated at Home, and now, Seated Events. These funds are being used to further build out Seated’s platform and improve performance and capabilities for new product developments.
“Restaurants are a vital part of our culture and communities, and the industry has been completely upended by COVID-19. It’s been impressive to watch Seated’s unwavering commitment to help restaurants thrive as they quickly adapted their rewards platform to offer delivery, and now events, in order to continue to meet restaurants’ needs,” said Thilo Semmelbauer, Managing Director at Insight Partners. “Seated’s expanded vision is compelling and this one-stop platform will be an important piece of the restaurant industry’s recovery and evolution.”
Seated is the only platform that drives demand for restaurants and rewards consumers through dine-in, pickup, delivery, and events, and today’s launch further reflects its commitment to developing timely support systems for restaurants as new challenges arise. For more information, visit seatedapp.io.
Launched in 2017, Seated is dedicated to helping restaurants drive sales and ultimately thrive. Seated generates demand for restaurants by offering tangible rewards to consumers dining-in, ordering takeout or delivery, and booking private events. Through Seated’s rewards platform, it has filled more than 900,000 seats, generated $7 million in tips for wait staff, and $37 million in revenue for restaurants to date. Its takeout and delivery offering Seated at Home helps restaurants drive demand and compete against predatory delivery apps, which charge exorbitant, profit-reducing service fees. The company’s newest offering, Seated Events, allows groups wanting to take extra precautions to book private rooms while dining in. In return for dining or ordering through Seated, consumers receive a portion of their spend back in Seated rewards, which can be redeemed for gift cards with popular brands like Amazon, Starbucks, Sephora, and many more. For more information, visit https://www.seatedapp.io/.