Tech Pitch: Uncover

Startups gets a taste of the last-minute restaurant booking app co-founded by the entrepreneur who helped launch YPlan's biz dev department...

Company name: Uncover
Founders: Chris Steinau (32), Dan Ziv (34), David Saenz (37)
Background: Saenz: CEO. Born and raised in Los Angeles, has the lucky job of exploring some of the world’s best restaurants in London. Ziv: Head of product. Previously served as communications officer in the military, and has worked as a corporate lawyer in the Israeli tech scene. Steinau: Worked for five years as a banker and worked at YPlan where he co-founded the business development department.
Based in: Kings Cross, London

Very simply, what does your tech start-up do?

  • Uncover is an app that helps you to discover and book London’s most desirable restaurants at the last minute.
  • We‘ve curated a shortlist of top restaurants based on user location and their preferences, only showing the restaurants that have guaranteed tables and allows users to book them instantly
  • Whether you fancy going to a Michelin star, a trendy eatery or neighbourhood favourite, Uncover has more than 275 restaurants to choose from, with more being added every week. Some of the restaurants on our app include Kitty Fisher’s, Coya, Portland, BEAST, Fera at Claridges, Kitchen Table, Restaurant Story, Lima, Barnyard and Hoi Polloi.

Tell us why there is a need – what do you disrupt?

We’re big foodies and we love to explore London’s amazing dining scene. At the same time we are bad planners and often tried our luck at getting a table at some of best restaurants at the last minute. A lot of the times they were full or had a long wait.

However, on a number of occasions we got lucky and the restaurants were able to accommodate us due to a last minute cancellation or a no-show.

We felt that this is a very frustrating experience both for diners and restaurants so we had the idea to help simplify this issue. London is a busy and bustling place and restaurants want to be full.

We are disrupting the market by creating a solution to a problem of no-shows but also allow Londoners to be spontaneous and go for an excellent meal at the drop of the hat. It’s a win-win for everyone!

Are you funded?

We have received £1m in seed funding so far.

What were you doing before starting?

Steinau: I started my career in investment banking and stuck to it for five years. While working as a banker my inner voice kept on telling me to do something that I am really passionate about: building my own business. I always had a taste for technology and was a big foodie!

So I thought it was a good idea to first get some experience in another tech business and joined YPlan where I co-founded the business development department. In parallel I did my MBA at the London Business School where I met Ziv and Saenz. You could now say the rest is history!

Over 100,000 users, 275 top restaurants and £650,000 worth of additional revenue generated for restaurants later!

What’s the best thing about being where you’re based?

London is great place for us to be. Firstly, because of the exceptional dining scene. It’s one of the best in the world and for sure the best place to start a business as Uncover.

Secondly, London has an incredibly vibrant and supportive start-up community. London is a great place to get in front of the right people, find great new team members and also meet with potential investors.

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