Deals: Malaysia’s TABLEAPP secures Series A funding from Sea Unicorn, 500 Startups

By Liz Lee for Deal Street Asia

Malaysia-based dining reservation app, TABLEAPP, has raised a Malaysian Ringgit seven-digit round of Series A funding, led by Sea Unicorn with participation from 500 Startups, in October this year.

Sea Unicorn is a newly set up venture firm based in Kuala Lumpur.

TABLEAPP raised a seed round of MYR360,000 from Singapore-based venture firms Kathrein Ventures and Crystal Horse Investment, as well as Malaysian angel investor Hanson Toh in August 2014. Kathrein Ventures also participated in the Series A funding as a follow-on investor.

The funding, founder Benson Chang said, will be utilised to scale in outside of the Klang Valley in Malaysia, with a consideration of enhancing its regional reach. The startup announced the funding during an exclusive partnership signing agreement with RHB Banking Group.

At the moment, TABLEAPP is operating largely in the Klang Valley, with over 380 restaurant clients under its belt. It also has more than 100 clients in Bangkok, Thailand.

“We are planning to expand to Penang and Johor (in Malaysia). We have some clients using our app there already, but these are chain restaurant clients whose headquarters are in Kuala Lumpur, where they were already using the app,” he told reporters on the sidelines.

Chang also said that it is considering expansion into the Philippines and Cambodia, although these plans were preliminary.

TABLEAPP will also beef up its marketing team to further promote the app within Malaysia and the region.

Prior to the Series A funding, TABLEAPP was also a recipient of government-linked early-stage startup influencer Cradle Fund’s CIP 500 grant.

Under the three-year exclusive partnership with RHB Banking Group, both banking group and TABLEAPP will jointly enhance overall online restaurant-booking and payment services.

The collaboration is part of RHB’s Digital Journey and is the first partnership the bank has signed with a startup. The bank has moved into enhancing its lifestyle offerings and e-commerce payment services.

Plans to integrate payment services into TABLEAPP’s platform is also in the works.

RHB group managing director Khairussaleh Ramli said during the signing: “Moving forward, we will be working with TABLEAPP to incorporate payment services into their new app, as well as support their effort to enable online menu ordering. In the future, we will also look at integrating TABLEAPP restaurant reservation into our RHB banking applications as part of our lifestyle offerings.”

He added that the aim under this partnership was to complement the bank’s customers’ dining experience with the convenience of cashless payment options via RHB Now, exclusive discounts for RHB cardholders and ability to purchase TABLEAPP discounts via RHB’s Mobile Lifestyle App.

“In addition to our partnership with TABLEAPP, we have also launched other digital initiatives such as SME eRetail Solution and Mobile Lifestyle App. We are also looking to launch EASY Mobile in the next few weeks,” he said.