Shift to mobile: Punchh receives $3M investment

Punchh, a mobile solutions provider for the restaurant industry, announced that it has raised $3 million in venture capital funding to further expand its market position and accelerate growth in the $20 billion U.S. restaurant marketing segment.

This brings the total funding raised by Punchh to $4 million.

The three-year-old company's patent-pending technology was created to help operators of more than 1,000 restaurant locations realize customer participation and loyalty results. Punchh has received backing from Cervin Ventures, Green Span Ventures, VKRM, Sandhill Group, Garnett Ventures, and multiple other Silicon Valley angel investors.

"By building the first mobile solution for the restaurant industry, Punchh's cutting-edge technology has made it the segment leader," said Jitendra Gupta, founder and CEO of Punchh. "This round of funding will fuel our already solid momentum and allow us to tap deep expertise and guidance from our investors and advisory board. We will aggressively scale our sales, product and customer success organizations to meet the exploding demand in the restaurant marketplace."

Punchh's mobile solution for restaurants includes branded mobile apps for games, gift cards, loyalty, online ordering, payments, referrals, surveys and marketing campaigns. Punchh aims to drives word of mouth (WOM) interaction between customers through restaurant reviews, measurable referrals and social interaction campaigns. Its solution gathers data on customer purchasing habits and social network activity by integrating with restaurant point-of-sale systems (POS) and Facebook.

Punchh's turnkey integration works with online ordering, payments, online ordering, reservations, and wait-list management solutions, ensuring restaurants need to maintain only one mobile app.

Punchh's WOM technology has been deployed at brands such as Earl of Sandwich, Hungry Howie's, Mama Fu's, Max's Restaurant, Rita's Italian Ice, Vino Volo, and Voodoo BBQ and Grill.

"We know our customers are more mobile and social than ever before," said Steve Heeley, president and CEO, Earl of Sandwich. "So we want to transform our customers into ambassadors who spread the word about our brand and refer friends to our stores. Punchh allows us to achieve that by engaging them right on their mobile devices and rewarding them for their loyalty and referrals."

Preetish Nijhawan, managing director at Cervin Ventures, which led the funding, said Punchh's embrace of these emerging trends and marketplace position led his group to invest in the firm.

"Punchh is addressing a huge market and a key problem that most restaurants are struggling with: how to engage mobile customers, drive brand awareness and growth using customers' real-life social networks," Nijhawan said. "Today when you go to a restaurant, the operator doesn't know who you are and how to engage you and leverage your influence within your social group. Punchh solves that for a restaurant and engages customers in a way that is differentiated. This market solution requires a unique combination of enterprise software expertise and consumer application knowledge. We like to invest in the best platforms in a space, and we are excited to work with Punchh to help them grow."

Read more about mobile investments.

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