Singapore restaurant booking site Chope raises USD 2.5M led by Singapore Press Holdings
March 18, 2013 by Terence LEE
Singapore restaurant booking site Chope has raised a USD 2.5M round led by Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and two other investors, which are undisclosed. The news was first reported by TechCrunch and announced by SPH to the Singapore Exchange.
SPH, which invested SGD 1.81M (USD 1.45M), now owns 27.8 percent of the startup, which gives Chope a valuation of USD 5.2M. That’s about half of HungryGoWhere, which was acquired by SingTel for about USD 9.4M last year.
While the investment sum is substantial, Chope’s co-founders Clowie Tan and Arrif Ziaudeen appeared to have give up quite a significant chunk of equity — 48 percent to be exact.
Taking into account the Series A round of USD 880k raised last year, the founders would now probably only own between 15 to 20 percent of the company each, and one wonders if that is enough to keep them motivated, or if they’re gunning for an acquisition pretty soon.
Launched in June 2011, Chope expanded to Hong Kong in mid-2012, listing 224 restaurants in total. It is currently making about 10,000 reservations a week.
In Singapore, Chope is competing with HungryGoWhere, which also launched a restaurant reservation service in partnership with ReserveIt.sg.
While HungryGoWhere is new to this space, it holds the advantage in terms of the sheer number of restaurants in its directory, currently at about 15,000. It also has 219 restaurants available for booking, roughly equivalent to Chope.
As a SingTel subsidiary, HungryGoWhere was able to leverage on traffic from inSing.com, a lifestyle portal owned by the telco.
Chope should be able to do the same thing now that it has SPH — which owns some Singapore’s largest news dailies, magazines, and news portals — as an investor.
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Terence LEE - Editor
Terence writes mainly about technology trends and startups in Asia. He believes in crafting smart content: Not just a regurgitation of text, but well thought-out pieces that serve the reader using a combination of data, design, narratives, analysis, and visual impact. His articles have been published on Venturebeat, Yahoo!, Straits Times, Today, and The Online Citizen. He also co-founded NewNation.sg, a satirical news site covering Singapore affairs. Engage him on LinkedIn and Twitter.Read other posts by Terence LEE