Hungry Hub which has been bootstrapping since its inception in 2014, finally secured its first seed funding from Expara Thailand and 500 Startups, to the tune of US$450,000 or about Bt14 million.
Hungry Hub originally started off as a restaurant reservation app by three founders, Surasit Sachdev, Kamolporn Theratanawong and Ravi Sachatep. However in 2016, the three co founders decided to reposition and redefined themselves as a fixed-price dining offer app.
The three cofounders went through tough times as despite whatever “hot air” there is about the Thai startup scenes, there is very little support from agencies in term of know how and Thai corporates do not help startups unless they can gain tremendously by exploiting the startups or if nepotism or cronyism is involved. The team decided to then concentrate on simply buffet restaurants as considering the declining economy the last 5 years and with Thai consumers and even foreigners becoming more price conscious and looking for value for money, buffets were the obvious choice.
With a fixed-price concept, the app’s offerings includes exclusive buffet deals and sharing set-menus at restaurants. Hungry Hubs offers mostly promotions and set-menus such as All You Can Eat exclusive buffet promotions for restaurants that usually only offer a la carte menus; Party Pack, an exclusive set menu for groups of two to four diners with a minimum of 20 per cent discounts on eateries that do not usually offer discounts; and Buffet Plus, a menu option for Hungry Hub-customers-only that are offered on top of existing buffet promotions. It just introduced Hungry Lunch, a weekday all-inclusive set lunch options.
CEO and Cofounder of Hungry Hub , Surasit Sachdev in an exclusive interview with Thailand Startup News commented “Hungry Hub wants to allow diners to know beforehand how much a restaurant visit is going to costs and for restaurants to generate more revenue through sustainable promotions. There has been an untapped potential of group bookings, whether for celebrations or corporate dinners, with budgets that can be managed whilst ensuring the location, cuisine, and atmosphere is conducive. Customer engagement in food service needs to go beyond the marketing function. Customers are more demanding as they have more choices.”
The company currently operates in Bangkok and Chiangmai and to date have seated more than 430,000 diners. The company has been making profits the last 8 months according to the cofounders.
The company plans to use the seed funding for more restaurant signups , hoping to hit a target of 1,000 restaurants within a year and a half. Funds will also be used for tech development, marketing and also increase staffing.
Hungry Hub plans to go into Stage A fundings by the first quarter of 2020 and also expand overseas to markets like Singapore, Australia, UAE and elsewhere.
Hungry Hub has won two awards to date including being the first prize winner in the Pitch Corner event of the Seedstars World Summit 2018 in Switzerland and also the top startup award for the e-commerce category At the Echelon Asia Summit 2018 in Singapore.