TableApp canters on with RM250K funding from Crystal Horse

Benson Chang: Thanks to the Cradle Coach & Grow Programme. — DNA pic
Benson Chang: Thanks to the Cradle Coach & Grow Programme. — DNA pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 13 — Malaysia’s TableApp has raised RM250,000 (approximately US$78,000) in seed funding from Singapore-headquartered Crystal Horse Investments as well as angel investor Hanson Toh.

TableApp founder Benson Chang (pic) told Digital News Asia (DNA) that the money will be used to beef up its business development team and marketing initiatives.

“We will also use the funding to expand to Penang and Johore,” he said, adding that the founders retain a “significant percentage” of equity in the company.

Chang had initially founded TableApp in mid-2013 with David Lin, a classmate from the National Cheng Kung University. Lin has since exited the startup to return to Taiwan.

Crystal Horse chief executive officer Michiel Wind expressed excitement over the firm’s latest investment.

“TableApp is the leading restaurant reservation platform in the country and fits in very nicely with our Malaysian digital strategy,” he said.

TableApp, a restaurant reservation app and platform, aims to be a comprehensive system for restaurateurs to manage all their bookings from all possible touch points with diners.

The app, with recently released updated versions for the iOS and Android platforms, has had more than 15,000 downloads to date.

TableApp currently has more than 90 restaurants in the Klang Valley signed up, and Chang claimed that about 35 per cent of active users are return customers.

The company has also expanded its network of partnerships, recently becoming a Groupon Malaysia Restaurant Booking Partner. A reservation widget by TableApp sits on Groupon’s food deal page and clicking on it redirects customers to TableApp’s website, where they can make the booking directly.

It also recently inked a deal with Tourism Malaysia which will see the TableApp booking widget embedded in the ministry’s homepage. This is slated to go live sometime in September.

Chang said that his time with the Cradle Coach & Grow Programme (CGP) has been very useful in his entrepreneurial journey, giving him coaching and assistance in areas such as pitching and fundraising.

“I managed to get an angel investor via the programme, and they [CGP coaches] also helped me to review shareholder agreements and provided advice when a company had previously expressed an interest in acquiring us,” he said.

TableApp’s angel investor Toh first encountered Chang and TableApp in August 2013, when he became a mentor with CGP, and remains involved with the programme.

“Benson [Chang] and his team have worked hard to develop the technology and a business that has the potential to be very sustainable and scalable, and adds great value to all consumers and players within the food and beverage ecosystem. It’s an exciting investment for me,” said Toh, the former Google Inc country consultant for Malaysia. — DNA

* This article was first published here.