‘Real-time dining’ app for Londoners raises £1m seed funding

Ruffl allows users to book tables at local restaurants through their smartphone

Restaurant booking app start-up Ruffl announced it has raised £1m in seed capital from a group of experienced tech angels, which is being used to launch its offering across London.

Founded this year by Laurence Carver and Aaron Ross, Ruffl allows Londoners to view restaurants in their local area and book a table using the app.

The founders say they have signed up around 450 restaurants so far, who can entice local customers by making offers in real-time through the app.

It is part of the latest wave of ‘real-time booking’ mobile apps enjoying a vogue amongst Londoners, alongside mobile events booker Yplan and instant taxi request app Hailo – both Startups 100 alumni.

The £1m investment comes from a consortium of City angels, including two who have considerable experience in restaurant booking services – Toptable founder Karen Hanton and ex-Opentable Europe CEO David Pritchard. Mark Ferguson, son of former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, has also invested in the start-up.

The seed investment will be used to roll-out the app – which is available on iPhone and Android devices – across London, with a UK-wide expansion planned.

Founders Carver and Ross say they plan to extend Ruffl’s functionality beyond restaurant bookings, describing their current offering as ‘only the beginning’.

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