Tech Pitch: Flypay Limited
Having just closed £1m to support its UK launch, the founders of the “disruptive” restaurant app share their start-up story…
Company name: Flypay Limited
Founders: Tom Weaver (CEO) and Chris Evans (CTO)
Background: Boutique consultancy start-up Flywheel
Based in: London
Very simply, what does your tech start-up do?
We’ve created an app, Flypay,that allows restaurant customers to check, split and pay their bill rapidly, without needing to find a waiter.
The technology is also being used to power an order-ahead solution for burrito bar Burrito Mama and leading restaurant chain Wahaca.
Tell us why there’s a need – what do you disrupt?
Paying your bill in a restaurant can ruin an otherwise good experience. As a diner, you don’t usually think about payment until you are ready to leave. But, from then on, your goal is usually to get out as swiftly as possible and on to “the next thing”.
Sadly, the process of paying doesn’t always match that goal. It takes an average of 10.2 minutes to find the waiter, for them to generate the bill, for you to decide how to split it, for them to bring a payment terminal, and for that terminal to be passed around the group. For larger groups it is even worse. For restaurants, the way they currently handle payments is both inefficient and causes them to lose potential revenue in peak periods.
With Flypay we solve this problem and by disrupting the process, it actually benefits both the diner and the restaurant.
Are you funded?
Yes. We have just closed a £1m funding round from venture capital firm Entreé Capital to support Flypay’s UK-wide roll-out.
We also secured £150,000 seed funding in July 2013 via the seed enterprise investment scheme (SEIS) which was used to develop the proof of concept.
What were you doing before starting?
We ran a boutique consultancy called Flywheel that specialised in innovating around customer experiences for bricks and mortar environments, such as theatres, retailers (William Hill and House of Fraser for example), councils and even schools. Through Flywheel, we developed some powerful methodologies to diagnose customer pain points and then to help solve them.
In one of the projects we were asked by a restaurant industry veteran to apply our thinking to the restaurant world. He was starting his own brand so wanted our insight at an early stage. The ‘pain points’ we uncovered about restaurant payments became so clear that we realised that someone needed to solve this issue quickly.
After building a prototype, we actually paused development for six months as we were convinced bigger players must be working on doing something like this. However, we finally decided to take it to market in February 2013, and it was at this point that Wahaca came on board and then things started to move very quickly indeed.
What the best thing about where you’re based?
London is the perfect location for Flypay: it has a thriving, wonderful restaurant scene with creative restaurant operators and a consumer base that loves to go out to eat.
There is also a great talent pool of developers, designers and other inspirational people so it’s a fantastic environment to support our future development.