Enabling Technologies

Restaurant Bill Payment Startup Cover Acquired $5.5 Mn via Spark Capital

According to estimates from research analyst firm Double Diamond Group, the market for hospitality mobile payments is 650,000 locations worldwide. The de facto restaurant-payment experience is the worst payment experience according to Todd Ablowitz, president of Double Diamond Group. He also says that “There’s nothing worse than … having the server go back and forth multiple times to take your check, type it in, come back with the final bill, go back with your credit card, bring it back for signing.

Yesterday (10th July, 2014), Restaurant  Bill Payment App – Cover – announced that they had raised $5.5 Million in a new round of funding led by Spark Capital with participation from Seed investors OATV, Lerer Ventures, John McDonald and Naval Ravikant.

“I’m thrilled to announce Cover’s Series A, led by Spark Capital. This new investment will let us continue to grow Cover and further our vision of building the best possible experiences,” wrote Mark Egerman, in a blog statement. “I’ve had the pleasure of spending the past two years working with incredibly talented people on the Cover team and I’m excited that we can expand this team and bring even more outstanding people onboard,” he added.cover

  • Cover lets you pay at restaurants without waiting for the check.
  • Cover also gives restaurants data to personalize service. Servers save time and turn tables faster.
  • The result is better service and a better experience for everyone.
  • Cover is also meant to solve the problem of splitting the bill.
  • The app can be downloaded for free through iTunes here.
  • Momofuku Ko, Blue Hill, Marc Forgione, Toro, Annisa and L’Artusi are some of the first restaurants to adopt the app in New York.
  • Andrew Parker who led the deal for spark capital, will be joining Cover’s board of directors.

“Andrew’s involvement for a lot of reasons: he’s a product thinker with an engineer’s brain; he’s had experience with marketplaces and location-based services; he’s a genuinely nice dude to be around. But we also wanted it because he saw Cover, immediately, as we see it - and the same can be said of the other Spark partners,” wrote Andrew Cove, in the same blog statement. “When Mark and I walked out of a meeting with all of the partners I felt that they had a clearer picture of the company, of the vision, and of us, than anyone else we’d met. We’re excited to work alongside them and to join the tight-knit community of companies in their portfolio.”

Some of the other companies operating in this space include Tabbedout, MyCheck, Elacarte and Dash. The free Tabbedout app for iPhone and Android enables consumers to open a tab with their smart phone, see their tab in real-time and pay the tab anytime, anywhere. Users can even split the check paying just their portion directly from the app. Tabbedout says its mobile payment solution integrates directly with the merchant’s point-of-sale (POS) system without the need of additional hardware. Tabbedout also provides validated payment information when a tab is first opened.

Chiraag Patel

Chiraag Patel is a Senior Reporting Analyst and the Editor of Bitcoin and Virtual Currency channels at Lets Talk Payments. He is an engineer with deep interest in MMORPG, Virtual Banking, Game Currency and Virtual Cash. Chiraag enjoys Reading& Blogging with focus on New Innovation, Technology & Startups in the Payments Space.

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