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Restaurant site Dineout claims 15K bookings a month, looking to raise under $1M

DineoutDineout Services Pvt Ltd, the company that owns and operates the online restaurant reservation site Dineout, claims to be doing over 15,000 transactions monthly. This number has increased more than 50 per cent from what the company was doing in January this year.

According to Vivek Kapoor, co-founder, Dineout, the site is getting on an average 50,000 visitors in a month, and the company is posting monthly revenues of Rs 6-8 lakh. For revenues, it charges a fixed commission for every booking done via its site. It has also started looking at banner ads as an additional revenue stream.

The Delhi-based startup was founded in February 2012 by school friends-turned-fellow entrepreneurs Ankit Mehrotra, Sahil Jain and Nikhil Bakshi, and Kapoor. Jain is an IIM Kozhikode graduate, who was joined by Mehrotra, an investment banker who quit his job to start Dineout. Bakshi was earlier working with DSP BlackRock for five years.

How is it faring

Apart from restaurant booking, the site also offers restaurant listing, user reviews as well as popular deals. The company has also started a restaurant-focused events section, which will primarily sell tickets for events taking place at popular restaurants. While the section offers only free booking as of now, the site already has a payment gateway in place and plans to sell tickets, passes, vouchers, etc. going forward.

The company was earlier offering reservation for around 260 odd restaurants in Delhi; this number has now gone up to 400. Its team size was 20 as of January this year, the number has now increased to 30. The company also claims to have entered into partnerships with players like Timescity and Buzzintown, as part of which all restaurant reservations on these sites would be powered by Dineout.

Dineout

The company has also launched its own Electronic Reservation Book (ERB) for restaurants which would help them handle reservation management for normal walk-ins as well as online reservations, email and SMS marketing. "It basically works as a restaurant reservation + customer relationship management (CRM) solution. We have already done a pilot for our ERB with around 15 restaurants in Delhi, and plan to introduce it with more going forward," said Kapoor.

Funding, competition and expansion plans

The company had raised Rs 60 lakh in angel funding from the founders of Travel Boutique, a B2B online travel agency, in October last year. It is now looking to raise Rs 5 crore (under $1 million) in its Series A round.

While the company competes with the likes of Zomato.com (for restaurant listings) and Justeat.in (for table booking), among others, for a few of its services, according to Kapoor, its USP lies in the fact that it offers all of them in one platform.

The startup, which was only active in Delhi as of January 2013, is now operational in Mumbai as well. "We are already operational in Mumbai with over 50 restaurants. Next month we will be launching in Bangalore and have already tied up with more than 40 restaurants for the same," said Kapoor. He said with the funding, the company will look at expanding into more cities, technology development, as well as increasing the tech team size.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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