Seattle-based startup Cheq Lifestyle Technology has raised an $8 million in order to grow its mobile ordering platform and delivery platform. This allows consumers to have items delivered directly to their seats at sporting events, and also gives them the opportunity to gift drinks to friends.
This company was founded in 2013 and is currently being used in several sports stadiums. It aims to increase sales and reduce wait times for customers.
Cheq is primarily targeting restaurants, which can use a Venmo-like function that allows customers to “gift”, an item to another user. For example, sending a drink to a friend for their birthday party.
Social gifting can be used at stadiums as well. For example, someone watching the game at work could purchase a beer for a colleague at the game.
Cheq currently works with six sports organisations, including the University of Washington and the Miami Dolphins. Software from the company is also used in traditional point of sale terminals as well as self-service kiosks in stadiums.
Cheq CEO Thomas Lapham stated that the software has an average 28% increase in vendor sales and generates $120 per game for each vendor.
Cheq works with more than 100 restaurants. The app is used by more than 100,000 people each month.
It is not a new idea to bring ordering technology to restaurants and stadiums. SnagMobile, Bypass and Yorder were founded in 2013 to provide in-seat delivery for sports games. Fortune reported that two of the three startups had been defunct by 2015. Clover Sport was the exception to this rule. The company currently sells its ordering hardware, including to the Miami Heat and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as well as the University of Alabama.
Some large players have tried to order stadium food. In-seat delivery was also offered by the New York Yankees’ partnership with Mastercard’s QkR in certain areas. To allow pre-ordering, Postmates also partnered with the Los Angeles Dodgers & Yankees.
Other companies are also working on technology that will improve the in-stadium experience. Amazon’s cashierless technology, for instance, was recently introduced with the Seattle Seahawks, and Seattle Mariners.
Cheq is competing with established POS systems providers such as Square, Toast, and Clover in the restaurant sector.
Lapham stated that Cheq will be able differentiate itself by its user experience and social features. Vendors will prefer the company’s subscription-based pricing model.
Lapham was the founder of the 47-person company. He is also a former CEO and advisor to Asia Clean Capital, a Chinese solar panel developer. The CTO Jim Castillo is a former leader in software engineering at OpenTable. Chief Revenue Officer Jake Stone was previously the CRO at Independent Sports Entertainment. Chief Business Officer Jonathan Macey was a cofounder of Evolotu, a startup based in London.
After raising $5.4 million last fiscal year, the seed round was formed. The round was led by WestRiver Group’s Technology Fund with Harvard’s Yard Ventures participating. The current value of the company was not disclosed by the company.