ResQ Announces C $ 9.75 Million Fundraiser in December to Help Restaurants Meet ‘Pent-Up’ Demand as COVID Reopens

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Armed with approximately C $ 9.75 million (US $ 7.5 million) in previously unannounced seed funding, the Toronto-based catering software startup ResQ Seeks to capitalize on its recent growth and help more restaurants lower their operating costs when they reopen following COVID-19 closures.

The roundtable, which closed in December, was led by Homebrew, Golden Ventures and Inovia Capital. The tour was supported by Nilam Ganenthiran of Instacart, Gokul Rajaram of Doordash, Lenny Rachitsky of Airbnb, Jeff Adamson and Andrew Chau of SkipTheDishes, and Maple Ventures. It also saw the participation of some of ResQ’s client restaurants, including Soul Foods, a global franchisee of Yum! Brands.

“We are seeing a big, big shift in technology adoption,” said Kuljeev Singh, CEO of ResQ.

In an interview, Kuljeev Singh, founder and CEO of ResQ, said ResQ had waited until now to announce the December increase because it “wanted to be aware” of celebrating given the degree of suffering in restaurants across the country. the time in the midst of pandemic shutdowns. Singh said the startup still had “the majority of the capital” in its fundraiser.

Founded in 2018, ResQ offers an end-to-end repair and maintenance application for restaurants. The Toronto-based company’s SaaS Marketplace connects restaurants to service providers, helping them request, manage and pay for repair and maintenance services. ResQ also provides restaurants with data and information to enable them to “optimize internal operations” and reduce operating costs.

ResQ currently serves more than 3,000 global restaurant groups in the fast and full-service restaurant industries. The company’s customers include KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Wendy’s, Arby’s, The Keg, Cactus Club Cafe, Paramount, Fresh, and Tim Hortons.

While the startup’s clients mainly include multi-unit operators, Singh said ResQ also serves independent single-unit groups like local restaurants and craft breweries. ResQ makes money by charging restaurant membership fees as well as service provider fees.

RELATED: ResQ Uses Platform to Help Service Industry Deliver Meals to Frontline Workers

ResQ has seen tremendous growth over the past year as restaurants look to cut costs and increase operational efficiency during COVID-19. Before the pandemic, ResQ had around 20 employees and only operated in Toronto. Over the past 12 months, the startup has launched into eight new markets in the United States and Canada, tripled its team size and recorded revenue growth of 750%.

ResQ’s seed funding brings the company’s total funding to date to approximately C $ 11.7 million (US $ 9 million). In 2019, ResQ raised nearly C $ 2 million (US $ 1.5 million) in pre-seed capital from undisclosed angel investors, some of whom reinvested as part of the fundraising campaign. ‘business.

Singh told BetaKit that in order to successfully exit COVID-19, restaurants “need to think about how to turn internal operations into a revenue-grabbing opportunity.” The CEO pointed out that restaurants typically have low profit margins to start with, and COVID-19 has made things even more difficult for them. Singh argued that, for restaurants, the way forward after the pandemic involves adopting new technologies, a change he believes the pandemic has accelerated.

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“We are seeing a big, big change in technology adoption,” Singh said. “I believe in the past four months more technology has been adopted in restaurants than in the year or years combined before that.”

According to the CEO, most technological innovations for restaurants are happening “in front of the house,” on the customer side, citing UberEats as an example. Operations “behind the house,” Singh said, are “extremely menial” and have been overlooked by many restaurants until now. These background operations include maintenance and repairs, such as kitchen equipment repairs.

Singh said that an average restaurant spends three to five percent of its annual sales on repairs and maintenance. The CEO says that by offering competitive pricing and process and communication improvements, ResQ helps restaurants save 10-30% on repair and maintenance expenses per year.

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“ResQ has struck a chord with restaurants by working diligently to support its customers throughout the pandemic,” said Karam Nijjar, partner at Inovia. “Now, the company’s coast-to-coast expansion in North America shows how urgent the challenge is for restaurants to achieve operational efficiency at scale, given the enormous pent-up demand that we see across the industry. “

When the pandemic struck, ResQ also launched a community initiative designed to help the service sector deliver meals to frontline workers and COVID-19 patients. In total, the startup said it has purchased more than 10,000 meals from local restaurants through its platform.

Singh said ResQ is now poised to double its existing markets and continue its expansion efforts in Canada and the United States, identifying many opportunities for growth as the restaurant markets continue to reopen.

ResQ plans to grow to 100 employees by the end of the year and is looking to hire for all parts of its business. Singh said the startup is likely to “increase [its] next round in the next 12 months… maybe even sooner.

Photo courtesy of ResQ

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