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Venture Capital News: Nowait Grabs $8M

2016-08-11
PITTSBURGH, PA, NoWait, a mobile network of casual dining restaurants serving millions of consumers and thousands of restaurants across the US, today announced a new funding of $8 million.
Nowait, the first mobile network for casual-dining restaurants, today announced a partnership with Yelp Inc. (YELP), the company that connects people with great local businesses, enabling Yelp users to enjoy the Nowait experience of viewing nearby restaurants' wait times and 'getting in line' remotely with the Yelp app. Catering to restaurants that don't take reservations, Nowait helps them replace traditional pen-and-paper and buzzers with its front-of-house, iPad-based system.

'Our partnership empowers us to exponentially expand the consumer side of our network overnight, while adding immediate value for both businesses,' said Ware Sykes, CEO of Nowait, which he describes as a 'hospitality-first' company. 'In joining forces with Yelp, we have a strategic partner who shares our passion for delighting guests with amazing experiences at their favorite restaurants, nationwide.'

As part of the partnership, Yelp will be making an $8 million strategic investment. Nowait offers thousands of casual-dining restaurants, including national chains such as Chili's and First Watch, as well as independent hotspots such as in New York City's Clinton St. Baking Company, P.J. Clarke's on the Hudson, and Penelope.

'Nowait shares Yelp's love for helping people discover the best places to eat. Our partnership expands Yelp's consumer offerings in the restaurants category,' said Chad Richard, SVP of Business & Corporate Development at Yelp. 'In the coming months, the Nowait experience will be integrated into Yelp, enabling people to see current wait times at thousands of restaurants nationwide and 'get in line' remotely via the Yelp app when there is a wait.'

Since launching their guest app, Nowait has seated more than 500 million guests to date and continues to seat more than 30 million guests every month.

About Nowait:
Backed by Yelp, Drive Capital, and Birchmere Ventures, Nowait is a mobile platform for casual-dining restaurants. The Nowait guest app is used by millions of guests to 'get in line' from their mobile phone, while the Nowait host app is used in more than 4,000 casual-dining restaurants across the country, including national chains such as Chili's and First Watch, as well as popular independents. To date, Nowait has seated more than 500 million diners and regularly seats more than 30 million diners every month. The app is available for Android, as well as iOS. For more information, please visit nowait.com.

About Yelp:
Yelp Inc. connects people with great local businesses. Yelp was founded in San Francisco in July 2004. Since then, Yelp communities have taken hold in major metros across more than 32 countries. Approximately 23 million unique devices accessed Yelp via the Yelp app, approximately 73 million unique visitors visited Yelp via desktop computer and approximately 69 million unique visitors visited Yelp via mobile website on a monthly average basis during the second quarter of 2016. By the end of the same quarter, Yelpers had written approximately 108 million rich, local reviews, making Yelp the leading local guide for real word-of-mouth on everything from boutiques and mechanics to restaurants and dentists. ™For more information, please visit www.yelp.com or send an email to press@yelp.com.
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