ChopChop acquisition marks DeliverEat’s first investment after six-figure funding round in Aug
Plans to introduce the service to northern states as part of overall expansion push
PENANG-based startup DeliverEat has acquired mobile loyalty platform ChopChop from parent company GetChopChop, in line with its plans to expand its business and fortify market share in the northern Malaysian state.
The purchase is the first the company has made since closing a six-figure seed-funding round from Singapore-based Crystal Horse Investments Pte Ltd and Malaysia-based angel investor, Tan Swee Yeong in August.
In a statement issued on Crystal Horse’s website announcing the investment, chief executive officer Michiel Wind said: “We are excited with our first investment in Penang and our ninth startup investment in Malaysia.”
DeliverEat is an online food ordering and delivery startup founded by Leong Shir Mein and Tan Suan Sear, in April 2012, and is in the midst of gearing up to expand in the northern region. The recent funding round has served to spur growth and stabilise the business, it said.
The company had previously received an RM150,000 conditional grant from Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd, an agency under Malaysia's Ministry of Finance.
“We are very blessed [with] the support ... given by Cradle Fund for providing us with pre-seeding funds to make our dreams come true. We wouldn’t have been able to launch our services in the market at this pace without their mentoring and guidance," Leong told Digital News Asia (DNA).
She said that DeliverEat is constantly on the lookout for opportunities to continuously provide the best service to its restaurant partners.
“With the purchase of ChopChop, not only will DeliverEat be able to assist in serving outdoor and delivery customers but also to assist in bringing back more dine-in customers via the loyalty platform, providing [it with] a one-stop solution for its customer acquisition and retention needs,” she said.
When asked why ChopChop was selected amongst the other mobile loyalty startups active in the market, Leong said that it believed in the founders and the service.
“It was a coincidence; we happened to meet the founders at a casual meeting and the timing was just right. We were impressed with their IT skills and they have got good branding and traction with their restaurant partners,” she added.
What next for ChopChop team?
Responding to questions from DNA, Aaron Hee (pic), chief executive officer and cofounder of GetChopChop, said the team “clicked with the folks at DeliverEat and felt comfortable dealing with them.”
“They are driven and passionate entrepreneurs. Both of our businesses are in the same industry but in different verticals -- we believe there will be some form of synergy sometime down the road.
“Also, both businesses are based in two major cities in Malaysia, which can be a good distribution channel for each other's offering,” he added.
Asked how much ChopChop was acquired for, Leong declined to share an exact amount but said that it was in the "five-figure range,' adding that DeliverEat only acquired ChopChop as a product and the founders of GetChopChop still own the company.
Hee added that handover of all related assets to DeliverEat was completed in September, a transition that spanned over a period of close to two months. ChopChop was founded in July, 2011 and at time of sale, had garnered over 110 brands in its merchant portfolio with over 15,000 users in its database.
“Having said that, we are still involved with customer and user management. What makes ChopChop different from our competitors is our level of customer service and engagement. We want to ensure this level of quality lives on as we gradually phase out our involvement,” he said.
When asked to sum up the experience with ChopChop, Hee shared that it has “been a rollercoaster ride for us.”
“But what is most important to us is that we have learnt and grown a lot more from the very first day we started, though it isn't too long ago! We definitely will be a lot more 'efficient' when pulling off our next startup through our experience in building ChopChop,” he said.
When asked what’s next for the founding team, Hee said that there is no rush at the moment to do another startup, with each of them working on side projects, though they have identified a few inefficiencies and problems that are interesting and could be worth solving.
“At the same time, we want to broaden our enterprise and industrial perspective and experience. ChopChop was a consumer play and we are considering trying something out in the enterprise field, despite the challenges. We reckon there are a lot more opportunities for software to bring about positive changes and enhance efficiency in the enterprise value chain,” he added.
ChopChop embarks on northern adventure
Leong (pic) shared that the company will be introducing ChopChop to the merchants and customers in Penang before moving to other states. The company currently has more than 50 restaurants in its portfolio.
“We believe that the Penang market will be excited with this new offering as it is more accustomed to physical loyalty cards,” she said.
The company will also be maintaining the ChopChop brand, with Leong noting that the brand personality gels with DeliverEat with a name that is equally simple and catchy.
“The founders have done a great job in building brand presence for ChopChop. They have put in a lot of effort in positioning the brand and we see value in maintaining it,” she added.
This may not be DeliverEat’s last foray into the acquisition space, with Leong sharing that the team is open to opportunities which will enable them to serve partners and customers better.
“Besides acquiring new partners we are also constantly looking for partners with whom we will be able to create synergistic value. We welcome startups and talents for collaboration,” she added.
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