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Velocity, a short-notice premium restaurant booking app, has raised $22.5 million in a Series B round led by DIG Investments, with participation from Starwood Hotels founder Barry Sternlicht and concierge giant John Paul.
Founded out of London in 2014, with dual headquarters now in the U.K. and New York, Velocity’s core raison d’être is delivering access to fine dining experiences, allowing users to search for and book tables instantly through the mobile app up to seven days in advance. Payment for the meal can also be carried out in-app. Among the fine-dining establishments to come on board are New York’s Blue Hill, Catch, and Bowery Meat Company, as well as London’s Park Chinois, and San Francisco’s Slanted Door.
Velocity had raised around $17 million to date, and it says its fresh funds will be used to expand into 29 cities by 2020, including the five conurbations it currently operates in: London, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and San Francisco.
“Our Series B funding is an important step forward in growing our brand, increasing our bandwidth for exciting new features and building our presence in the greatest cities around the world,” said Zia Yusuf, cofounder and co-CEO of Velocity, in a press release.
The company used the $16 million it raised last year to make a triumvirate of acquisitions, including a U.S. startup called Cover that lets customers pay for meals from their phone. This was followed by Toronto’s Tab Payments and fellow London startup Uncover in successive months. These acquisitions allow Velocity to offer a full-featured restaurant booking app that covers discovery, reservations, and payments.
Today’s news comes less than a month after fellow London startup Deliveroo raised a whopping $275 million, taking its total funding to around a half-billion dollars. However, rather than offering fine dining experiences in physical restaurants, Deliveroo focuses on bringing quality grub to your house.
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