LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Velocity is the lifestyle app empowering diners to pay and earn rewards directly from their phone. With tastemakers using the app spending 14% more, Velocity is rolling out to the finest restaurants and clubs, including Hix Restaurants, the Galvin Restaurants, Sketch, Gymkhana, Burger & Lobster and Cuckoo Club.
- Investors include an international group of angels, including former Thomson-Reuters CEO and Chair of Morgan Stanley’s Technology Committee, Tom Glocer, and Initial Capital Partner, Shukri Shammas, with Chrystal Capital sole book runners.
- Proceeds from the financing will be used principally for international expansion, to cater for burgeoning global demand from prestige hospitality groups and customers.
- Velocity partners have seen a 14% increase in average spend of people using the app.
- The funding is a major milestone for the company, founded in London in 2014 by two young British entrepreneurs.
- Currently rolling out to over 300 leading venues, many Michelin-starred, service is expected to be live in thousands of venues across major hospitality cities globally by end-2016.
“As the world moves toward a cashless economy and mobile payments grow rapidly, Velocity is well placed to be the leading platform serving restaurant-goers and venues alike” commented Glocer. “I backed Velocity because of the strong management team and Velocity's unique combination of mobile payment, loyalty program and social network all integrated into the way top-end restaurants and other venues already work.”
Velocity was founded by childhood friends Zia Yusuf and Alex Macdonald in 2014 after having experienced firsthand the consumer frustrations of paying in restaurants. They saw a unique opportunity for the hospitality industry, which until now has been slow to adapt to the “Uberization” of affluent millennials who increasingly expect access and services via their mobile.
“We’re pioneering a superior, more efficient hospitality experience in partnership with the world’s leading Michelin-starred and international prestige restaurant groups,” noted Zia Yusuf, Co-Founder, Co-CEO and ex-Goldman Sachs banker. “With Velocity transactions growing 20% weekly, and a third of transactions already from repeat customers, it’s clear that affluent customer’s expectations are changing.”
“Velocity empowers restaurants to turn the point of payment into a point of engagement as part of their own loyalty programs,” added Alex Macdonald, Co-Founder, Co-CEO and ex-turnaround CEO. “Velocity makes dining out more personal and efficient for both the customer and restaurant, freeing-up waiting staff to focus on attending to diners during service, increasing footfall and providing feedback from every customer. The results for our restaurant partners are transformative, with spend per head increasing by a double-digit percentage.”
Kurt Zdesar, owner of Chotto Matte and Bouillabaisse in Mayfair, and the man who brought Nobu to London as Director of Operations for Nobu Europe explains “Velocity gives restaurant staff more time for quality interaction with customers as less time is wasted administering bills. Restaurants can gain a better understanding of their customer, allowing us to tailor our approach to meet their specific needs. Through the app, we can also reward our regular customers who visit time and time again.”