OneDine, a Dallas-based startup that offers a tableside ordering and payment solution, has closed on a $5 million Series A.
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A private family trust led the round which included participation from “several supporting investors,” including Austin-based TMW Capital and Hidden Lake Asset Management of New York.
Now, $5 million by today’s standards is actually on the small side for a Series A. But what caught my attention about this round is it was raised at a pre-money valuation of $90 million.
I should point out, as we all know, that a high valuation alone does not necessarily always translate into future success. In fact, a number of highly valued companies (WeWork and Uber, just to name a couple) saw spectacular stumbles in 2019. Those high-profile stumbles have actually led to concerns about overinflation when it comes to valuation.
But back to OneDine. Its valuation prompted me to take a closer look at the company, what it does and what about what it does warranted this valuation.
Rom Krupp founded OneDine in 2017, but, he said “it was an idea long before that. We had to wait for other pieces of tech to catch up.”
OneDine runs on a common tablet (which allows for a “super low cost of entry,” the company says) and seamlessly interfaces with a restaurant’s POS (point-of-sale) systems and existing restaurant software. With OneDine, restaurant patrons can go to a restaurant, check in and then do things like order from a digital menu on their mobile phone. They can also pay from their tables with their mobile phones “when they’re ready” and take real-time surveys.
The startup aims to make the whole dining out experience more efficient and personalized. Users can customize their OneDine profile to reflect their dietary and lifestyle preferences. OneDine then can provide instant notifications of nearby restaurants that match their preferences, along with trending offers or promotions. Where available, users can also make reservations from their device.
OneDine says its offering helps decrease labor costs and eliminate fraudulent chargebacks. For example, if a restaurant doesn’t have a chip reader, someone can claim they didn’t eat there. According to the company, restaurants lose massive amounts of money each year due to fraudulent chargebacks.
“There are services that offer a single feature or a few features but OneDine is the only platform that does it all without requiring an overhaul of hardware and software,” Krupp told Crunchbase News.
Customers lining up
OneDine launched its platform publicly late last year and started fulfilling in November. According to Krupp, the company has a pre-sales pipeline of over $100 million. He also projects OneDine to finish the year with $10 million in ARR (annual recurring revenue) and profitable. The company is a SaaS operator with a hardware component.
The company is currently working with over 60 brands, most of which are enterprise brands, including 54th Street and SPIN in New York City. Aside from restaurants, the platform has “really resonated” with hotels, casinos and even airports, according to Krupp.
“The applications of the platform are quite diverse,” he said.
The startup more than doubled its headcount to 24 compared to 11 a year ago, but Krupp projects OneDine will have 100 employees by year’s end.
OneDine plans to use its new capital mainly to hire support and client fulfillment staff since it will offer 24/7 support to customers. It also wants to drive further expansion across the U.S. and continue improving its platform.
TMW Capital’s Matt Silk said OneDine is appealing because “the restaurant industry and its customers are hungry (pun intended) for a more streamlined experience.
“Our investment in OneDine is based on its exceptional team and the fact that restaurants are on a waiting list to be able to implement the technology OneDine has to offer,” he added.
A waiting list, $100 million in a pre-sales pipeline and anticipated profitability by year’s end? Here’s where a high valuation actually makes sense.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias