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Impressions - KRAVEiN
KRAVEiN is a marketplace app for foodies to discover and share their culinary experiences. Consumers can find their favourite dishes and order them directly from nearby restaurants. Restaurants can engage these customers with promotional offers and news content.
KRAVEiN’s marketplace is a combination of a social media app and a restaurant ordering platform. Therefore, it aims to be a compelling marketing channel for restaurants by delivering highly engaged, paying customers for an affordable fee. Giving restaurants the ability to engage customers directly on the app also allows restaurants to retain their acquired customers.
It was founded in 2017 by foodies Craig Stockdale and Nino Rodrigues along with Georgia Rivers as part of the team. The founding team has experience in technology, product development and event marketing and have bootstrapped KRAVEiN to date. They are looking to raise a Series A round to accelerate customer acquisition.
It is an exciting time in the hospitality technology space (see previous article on Mr Yum). I am grateful to Craig for helping me learn more and sharing KRAVEiN’s journey.
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KRAVEiN is a marketplace app for foodies to discover and share their experiences. Consumers can find their favourite dishes and order them from nearby restaurants. The founders see it as the only comprehensive platform showcasing food discovery, venue discovery, social engagement for users and an important revenue source for venues.
Craig founded and runs an accelerator for technology businesses called AsiaFootPrint, while Nino has over 3 decades of experience in the IT industry and Georgia Rivers brings over 2 decades of marketing expertise to the business.
Craig and Nino are foodies and met through their children’s school. They enjoyed the social aspect of sharing great meals together and with each other’s families.
They are not alone as food has always had a social character to it and the power to bring people together. For example, research has shown that the core foodie is 5x more likely to use recipes that they have shared.
The problem Craig and Nino saw was that there was no authentic platform for foodies like themselves to share and recommend their experiences.
As such, foodies tend to use a ‘dark social’ network to share their passion. A UK study found that 62% of foodies share recipe videos with friends and families via Messenger, WhatsApp and Facebook groups.
The 2-sides to KRAVEiN’s marketplace are:
Foodies who can photograph, share their experience and write reviews on the dishes via the app. They are incentivised to do so by both the social sharing aspect and access to deals and discounts from restaurants.
Restaurants that can get access to additional customers. It's a website, e-commerce platform and social media platform, connecting them directly with their customers at a much lower cost. They can engage potential customers on the app directly with offers and news content.
KRAVEiN’s unique approach is to have a combination of social features and the ability for foodies to order directly from the app. This includes dine-in (via QR code), delivery and takeaway.
The aim is for restaurants to have a compelling marketing channel, with direct access to paying customers in exchange for a 5% commission. This compares to the circa 30% commission charged by some of the delivery app platforms.
KRAVEiN stands to benefit from 2 powerful trends in the hospitality technology space:
The search for more affordable technology and marketing solutions. This trend has been exacerbated by COVID, which has caused restaurants to ‘unbundle’ the components of delivery app platforms such as delivery. See my article on Mr Yum for more on this trend.
The growth of social commerce in restaurant marketing technology. US-based startup Snackpass is a food app with a strong social component. It gives consumers the ability to connect with friends, give them food ordered from restaurants as gifts and see a feed of their activity. Snackpass recently raised a US$ 70 million Series B round (circa US$ 400m valuation) in June 2021 led by Craft Ventures and included Andreessen Horowitz and Y Combinator as investors.
To date, KRAVEiN has 90 alpha testers, 6000 photos uploaded, 1500 reviews and 50,000 Australian venues on the platform ranging from cafes to restaurants, pubs, bars and clubs. It has just launched MVP versions of its mobile app on Android and the iPhone.
The technology platform uses serverless scalable microservices architecture on AWS, making it scalable globally. Users can access KRAVEiN on a variety of devices including iOS app, Android app, website and Mobile Web responsive app. Venues have access to partner iOS, or Android mobile and tablet app to update their venue details, manage their posts, receive and fulfil food orders.
To date, KRAVEiN has been bootstrapped. The founders are looking to raise a Series A round to drive customer acquisition. They hope to capitalise on the pent-up demand in the sector post-COVID and reach 200,000 users by 2022.
Interestingly, Craig and Nino initially found inspiration from the US app Foodspotting acquired by Open Table in 2013. Open Table was subsequently acquired by US travel technology company Booking Holdings.
KRAVEiN’s longer-term roadmap would be to add the ability to book multiple events on the app. Essentially, the customer would be able to plan her or his entire night out on the app with food, bar and events all available.
This has some similarities to Booking Holding’s own ‘Connected Trip’ strategy, where the same customer uses the platform for multiple bookings, thereby increasing loyalty to the platform.
It is an exciting time in the hospitality technology space. I am grateful to Craig for helping me learn more and for sharing KRAVEiN’s journey with me. I look forward to exploring more trending dishes on their app.