Australian mobile ordering and payments app for the hospitality industry me&u has announced an $8 million Series B funding round backed by some major investors.
Merivale's Justin Hemmes (pictured right) and Tyro Payments have invested in the startup that removes the friction of waiting in lines to pay or order at restaurants, cafes and bars.
me&u founder Stevan Premutico (pictured centre) says this latest capital raise is a major milestone for the startup.
"This is a watershed moment for us," says Premutico, who previously founded restaurant booking app Dimmi.
"We're now ready to deliver on our ambition of improving hospitality experiences, removing the friction of ordering and payment and boosting the efficiency of this great industry."
The support of Tyro will bring its CEO Robbie Cooke (pictured left), bringing a wealth of experience from his time as CEO of Tatts Group and Wotif.com. He will join m&eu's board of directors and Tyro will become the main payment provider for the app.
Meanwhile, Hemmes has agreed to roll out the product across his venues.
They join an already star-studded stable of major investors including Cliff Rosenberg (non-executive director (NED) Afterpay, ex-NED Dimmi, ex-NED Linkedin APAC), William Easton (MD Facebook Australia, ex-NED Dimmi), Jason Pellegrino (ex-MD Google AUS, CEO Domain), Mike Abbott (co-founder Uber Australia), Tim Reed (President Business Council Australia, ex-CEO MYOB), Neil Perry, and John Szangolies (founder Urban Purveyor Group).
Premutico says both Hemmes and Cooke add valuable expertise to the startup that will allow it to scale immediately.
"Merivale will play a key role to ensure we continue to design a solution that solves some of the industry's biggest problems and helps to elevate the customer experience," says Premutico.
"Justin is a visionary in the hospitality industry, and we will welcome his active engagement in our venture."
"Robbie and the Tyro team bring years of experience from being deeply connected as the payment provider for 8,500 hospitality venues across Australia so there is a very clear synergy. It's an honour to have them both on this ride with us."
Merivale's Hemmes says he is excited to see the app come to fruition.
"Two years ago, when Stevan and I met for coffee, we discussed the friction of ordering & payment as being a big issue we wanted to solve," says Hemmes.
"It's great to be here now with an innovative and cutting-edge product that can help us further improve customer experiences in our venues. Staff will be able to better assist customers instead of spending time on payments and splitting bills. This is a huge industry wide issue."
The startup has already witnessed fast growth and uptake, with the app now available at a number of leading hospitality businesses including The Rockpool Group, The Opera Bar, Fratilli Fresh, Colonial Leisure Group, The Golden Sheaf, El Camino, Barangaroo House, Beerhaus by Bavarian, and The Sonoma Group.
The app is generating up to 50 per cent uptake in venues and spend increases as high as 30 per cent when customers use me&u.
"Our ambition is simple, but big," says Premutico.
"We want to make this industry better. Better for customers and operators, and it all starts with the way we order and pay. Change seems impossible until it's done, but soon we will look back and think 'I can't believe I used to stand four deep in a queue to order a beer or wait five minutes to pay a bill'. This is the change we are trying to inspire across the country."
Business News Australia
Get our daily business news
Sign up to our free email news updates.