Online restaurant reservation site Abratable has the unfortunate distinction of starting almost a year after its competitors Chope and Reserveit.sg. SingTel, which recently acquired restaurant portal HungryGoWhere, has also ventured into this space.
This means that Abratable, which is based in Singapore, will have to pull all stops and differentiate itself sufficiently from its competitors, catering to a different clientele. It has gone about it in a very interesting way. Read more
Chope, a web and mobile restaurant reservation service, has announced in a press release that it has seated one million diners since its launch in June 2011. A quarter of its online reservations come in between 10pm and 10am.
In other recent moves, the startup has expanded into Hong Kong with the launch of Chope.com.hk, and partnered with Samsung to preload its app into all Galaxy SIII phones in Singapore. The Galaxy SIII, which is Samsung’s flagship phone, has become a hot-seller of late, generating 10 million units in sales worldwide. The app is also available on iOS. Read more
Officially, SingTel‘s acquisition of HungryGoWhere for US$9.4M, Singapore’s number one food portal, was a few months in the making. Unofficially, the building blocks were being laid for three years.
The congenial work relationship between both HungryGoWhere and the InSing.com team was a key factor in the co-founders’ decision to join SingTel.
InSing.com is a lifestyle portal operated by the telecommunications company, covering food, shopping, events, travel, and more. Both sites’ food channels have a combined two million visitors a month.
“We know the people working in the inSing team. When they started off we actually helped with a couple of building blocks. So we know them from day one. The personal chemistry was there, and there was a high level of comfort,” said Yung Yih, who started HungryGoWhere, in a conference call between SGE and all three co-founders.
Hot on the heels of Reserveit.sg, a rival online restaurant reservation website in Singapore called Chope.com.sg has launched their own iPhone app.
It allows users to browse a list of restaurants, find out details like location, opening hours, and cuisine, and then reserve a table. The app was designed and developed by Burpple, a mobile social food journal that launched a few weeks ago.
It’s interesting that Burpple and Chope describe themselves as “mobile strategic partners”, and I believe we can expect more manifestations of the partnership to unveil in time to come. Read more
After being at SGE for about seven months now, I’ve noticed something about Singapore entrepreneurs: We’re pretty adept at taking a business concept from overseas and applying it locally.
Which is fine by the way — as long as it isn’t blind copying.
The latest to follow in this fine tradition is Singapore-based Connoisseur Club, which is essentially an online restaurant reservation site combined with a group buying site. Think Open Table and Groupon‘s love child. Read more
Chope your seats before it's too late!
Sooner or later, someone was going to use the Internet to let diners make restaurants reservations instantly.
Such an idea isn’t new: US-based OpenTable has been doing it since 1998, and they’ve expanded their services into eight countries.
In Singapore, the concept is just beginning to take off. Within the past couple of years, at least four such websites have already sprung up.
Reservations.SG started operating in 2010, while Reserveit.sg (read our interview with them) and Chope launched around the same time, in June 2011. Read more