Restaurant reservation platform Chope raises US$8m in latest round of funding

ONLINE restaurant platform Chope has pulled in US$8 million in Series C funding, which is the third round of financing in the early-stage financing cycle.

The investment round was led by Asian investment firm F&H Fund Management, along with NSI Ventures, the venture arm of US$1.8 billion Northstar Group, Chope said in a statement on Tuesday.

DSG Consumer Partners, Frontier Ventures and Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and other Chinese investors also participated in the latest round of fund-raising.

Prior to this, Chope had raised US$3.5 million since its launch in 2011. In 2013, the company had closed a US$2.5 million round led by SPH.

Chope enables users to make instantly confirmed reservations and queue via their phone. It also provides marketing services to restaurants in Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and Bangkok. The company has seated over 20 million diners to date.

F&H Fund Management chairman John Wu said in a statement: "As demonstrated by their remarkable growth, Chope's service provides real value to both diners and restaurant operators. We hope to help Chope expand its platform to more Asian cities, and accelerate the company's pace of product innovation."

Duncan Robertson, chief financial officer of Silicon Valley construction startup Katerra, Inc, is joining Chope's board of directors. Mr Robertson is also on the board of directors of OpenTable, a US-based online real-time restaurant reservation service.

Chope's CEO Arrif Ziaudeen said: "This investment and adding Duncan to our board has further increased Chope's lead in Southeast Asia, but this is just the beginning. Thousands of restaurants still use paper, and a lot of education is needed to make them realise the potential of being available to mobile-toting diners 24/7."