£17m Series B round for restaurant payment app Velocity

Starwood Hotels founder Barry Sternlicht among latest investors in app which lets diners reserve, pay and earn rewards from their phone

Velocity, a lifestyle app which promises to “empower diners”, has closed £17m Series B funding in a round led by DIG Investments to take its total investment to date to more than £29m.

Barry Sternlicht, founder of Starwood Hotels Group and concierge company John Paul,  also participated in the round.

Launched in 2014 by young entrepreneurs Alex Macdonald and Zia Yusuf, Velocity enables users to instantly discover and book “premium dining experiences” at top restaurants in the UK and US including Gymkhana and Dinner by Heston Blumenthal in London, Blue Hill in New York, and Casa Tua in Miami.

With offices in London and New York, Velocity has been on a growth ascent of late and has made a number of acquisitions in the restaurant space. In September 2015 it acquired US rival Cover and two months later acquired start-up competitor Cover.

The start-up plans to use the investment; said to serve as one of the largest-ever investments for a tech business in the restaurant industry, to expand its service to 29 cities worldwide by 2020.

To coincide with the news, the business has also appointed ex-Twitter employee Amanda Terry as COO. Terry previous led direct response ad products for Twitter in San Francisco.

Co-founder Macdonald commented: “Unlike years past when luxury goods dominated the market, affluent consumers are now spending approximately the same amount on upscale hospitality experiences.

“As a result of our Series B financing, we now have the resources we need to keep Velocity at the forefront of this movement.”

Find out more about Velocity and how it works here.

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