Popmenu, a platform for digital ordering and reservations for restaurants, announced this week it has raised a $17 million Series B round. The round was led by Bedrock Capital, with participation from existing investors Base10 Partners and Felicis Ventures, as well as new investors Mantis Ventures and Chapter One Ventures. This brings Popmenu’s total funding to $22.1 million.
In a press release sent to The Spoon, Popmenu said It will use the new funds to develop new features for its platform, which currently allows restaurants to manage online ordering and menus, collect direct feedback from customers (as opposed to getting it via third-party platforms), manage reservations, and integrate with delivery and reservations services.
Right now, one of the company’s main selling points is that it gives restaurants more control over their own branding, which is tough to do in the age of online delivery platforms and user-driven review sites like Yelp and Google. To give restaurants more of that brand control, Popmenu creates customized websites that include the aforementioned features and that allow the restaurants’ customers to upload their own photos, feedback, and reviews.
In response to the pandemic, Popmenu, like other restaurant tech companies, also launched its own version of contactless software that lets guests scan a QR code with their own smartphones to view and order from restaurant menus.
In addition to contactless features, having more control over their own branding (and customer data) has surfaced as a priority for restaurants since the start of the pandemic. SKS panelists noted yesterday that more restaurants, from large chains to mom-and-pop shops, are starting to bring more elements of the off-premises experience back into their own control. ShiftPixy, a company that provides not just custom-branded websites but also delivery drivers, is a huge supporter of restaurant-controlled customer data. Square just launched a similar function.
Even delivery services, like Uber Eats, now offer restaurants the ability to process orders via their own websites. The catch with that last one, of course, is that Uber Eats still owns the customer data, which kind of renders the whole point of maintaining one’s own website null and void.
As more companies like Popmenu bring features to the table that put branding and data back in the hands of restaurants, there will inevitably be more pushback from third-party delivery.