Restaurant tech startup Bbot announced today it has closed a $4 million seed extension funding round, bringing its total funding to $7.3 million. The seed extension round was led by Rally Ventures with participation from existing investor Craft Ventures, according to a press release sent to The Spoon.
The round follows Bbot’s $3 million fundraise from July 2020. The new funding will go towards hiring new talent and accelerating product development. Currently, Bbot makes a mobile order and payments platform restaurants can use to promote more “contactless” experiences in the dining room.
Of course, “contactless” was arguably the buzzword in the restaurant biz in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic pushed eating establishments all over the world to promote more social distancing for in-restaurant experiences. Bbot uses a common method, providing restaurant-goers with a QR code they can scan to browse a menu and order and pay for food. The Bbot system integrates directly into a restaurant’s existing tech setup.
In today’s press release, the company said it plans to introduce a new feature in 2021 that “reinvents the traditional bar tab” by allowing customers and bartenders joint access to it. Bbot will also release its own API that will let hospitality businesses “build on the Bbot infrastructure,” though more specifics were not provided.
The release (and subsequent success) of the bar tab feature may hinge partly on the direction of the pandemic, since bars specifically remain shuttered in many places. For the restaurant/bar/hospitality sector in general, there is a lot of competition afoot at the moment, since pretty much every front-of-house focused restaurant tech company released some version of a contactless order/pay system over the last year. Activity in this space has plateued slightly after the initial rush to go contactless. However, as a COVID-19 vaccine becomes more widespread and dining room restrictions relaxed, we expect competition to fire up once more.