Mountain View, CA and Bangalore-based TableHero, an intelligent operating system for small local businesses, has raised about $1 Mn in seed funding, led by growX ventures.
The round also saw participation from FreeCharge founders Kunal Shah and Sandeep Tandon; IVFA partner and ex-CEO of Network18 Haresh Chawla; Powai Lake Ventures and GlobeVestor.
TableHero is reimagining the technology stack for local businesses by building an intelligent small business OS (Operating Systems). The OS will include a suite of products that will vastly simplify website and digital presence management; reservations, bookings and appointments; and payments, loyalty and customer management.
Reimagining The Technology Stack For Local Businesses
TableHero’s first product will be an intelligent, one-click website builder for small businesses. It will allow business owners to simply claim their business on the platform and the website is auto-generated without any input from them. It also stays automatically updated by continually combing the universe for fresh content.
Outside of its intelligent one-click website builder, the startup is also launching an end-to-end online bookings and reservations platform next month, which is built on the iOS platform, and being launched as an iPad app. Restaurants can use this to enable their websites with reservations capabilities, and use the iPad app to accept reservations, manage walk-ins and seat their customers.
Deap Ubhi, Co-founder & CEO, TableHero, says, “Our goal is to reimagine the small local business technology stack in a way that makes technology invisible for small local business owners. The first product in this stack will be an intelligence-driven, one-click website maker for restaurants. It completely takes all the effort out of building and managing a digital presence for a small local business.”
The startup is currently in pre-launch phase, and has 25 alpha customers using website product. TableHero is initially targeting the nearly million table service restaurants in the United States. It will initially be launching its services in the US with a focus on West Coast cities such as Portland, Seattle, the Bay Area and Los Angeles.
The funding will be used to further product development of TableHero’s existing suite of tools, as well as to bolster its engineering and product design team.
The Founding Team
TableHero is founded by Deap Ubhi, founder of India’s first local listings and review platform, burrp.com, which was acquired by Network 18 in 2010 for INR 4.25 Cr. in March 2009. He then joined FreeCharge as COO and worked with founder Kunal Shah to guide it to the largest domestic technology acquisition in India’s history. He has also worked with Amazon US, where he was responsible for working with startups, accelerators and Incubators to evangelize the company’s cloud computing services Amazon web services (AWS). Deap also happens to come from a family that has owned and operated restaurants and small local businesses for over 30 years.
Explaining the reason behind the investment, Sheetal Bahl, CEO, growX ventures, said, “We’re investing in TableHero, above all, for the team. Deap is a star, he created Burrp, which we loved as consumers; ran Freecharge in a tough growth period, and is one of the best product guys ever to have worked in India. And he’s put together an amazing set of people to create a technology stack which has the potential to disrupt the long-standing hegemony of the incumbents in the F&B tech space across geographies.”
TableHero is currently a eight member team. Apart from Deap, the founding team has significant early-stage exposure through their past experiences in critical engineering and product design roles at Flipkart, Ola Cabs, Zomato, FreeCharge and Cleartrip. Some of his key team members include En Chiang Lee, who helped drive Zynga’s move into their own private cloud before taking on Senior Product stints at FreeCharge and Idea Devices; and Chetan Vaity and Aman Prakash Mohla, both of whom were part of the core engineering team at FreeCharge.
It sees players like SinglePlatform, Square, OpenTable, and Yelp’s business tools as its core competitors. “Although nobody is approaching the problem the way that we have (i.e. bringing complete automation to the small business technology stack),” company said.
growX is an early-stage investment firm which has invested in about 18 companies since its inception two-and-a-half years ago, including Claro Energy, Mad Street Den, Quandl, and Locus.sh among others.