Start@SG: Eatery-booking app raises $18m

Eatery-booking app raises $18m

Restaurant-booking app Chope has raised $18 million in an investment round led by Square Peg Capital.

Other investors include C31 Ventures Moelis Australia and existing shareholders, including SPH Ventures, NSI Ventures, Susquehanna International Group and DSG Consumer Partners.

The company plans to use the funds to build better products, enlist a larger sales force and enhance customer support.

Chope said it has more than 3,000 food and beverage clients across Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Indonesia and Thailand using its suite of technologies to manage bookings, queues, customer relationship management, promotions and pre-payments.

Founded in Singapore six years ago, over 60 per cent of Chope's restaurants are now in other cities, with its fastest growing operations in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Indonesia.

Plan for world's largest AI hub here

Private investment firm Marvelstone Group plans to launch the world's largest artificial intelligence (AI) hub in Singapore next year.

The Singapore hub, which will be in the central business district, will be followed by sister hubs in Japan, Scotland and Canada, the firm said yesterday.

The Singapore hub will serve the existing need in the market and help position the country as a global leader in AI technologies, expected to be a key growth engine of the future economy, said the firm.

Marvelstone president Joel Ko Hyun Sik said: "There is a clear need for a big playground for start-ups, entrepreneurs, and even corporates in the field of AI.

"Considering the high interest and demand for AI globally, there are still relatively few places to test these new technologies."

Marvelstone's goal will be to build 100 AI start-ups every year and attract global AI talent to Singapore to incubate their own applications and collaborate with local teams, he added.

CapBridge boosts SGX links

Singapore-based CapBridge Holdings has strengthened its partnership with the Singapore Exchange (SGX) and raised new money from seasoned early-stage investors.

SGX subsidiary Asian Gateway Investments has signed an agreement to subscribe for a 10 per cent equity stake in CapBridge Platform, a subsidiary of CapBridge, which will operate its online capital-raising platform.

CapBridge chief executive Johnson Chen said: "CapBridge has seen steady success as an innovative capital-raising platform for companies in the mid-to late stage of growth.

"With this investment and our strategic partnership with SGX, we will strengthen ongoing efforts to simplify and equalise the fundraising process between growth companies and potential investors."

This financing round for CapBridge group was also supported by a selective group of seasoned early-stage investors, including US-based venture capitalist Timothy Draper.

Proceeds will go towards building multiple functions on the CapBridge platform for companies and investors to engage with each other.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 17, 2017, with the headline 'Start@SG'. Print Edition | Subscribe