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Reserve, a dining app that handles reservations and payments at select restaurants in a handful of cities, has raised $15 million in funding from a syndicate of investors that includes Oscar-winner Jared Leto, Chef star Jon Favreau and musician will.i.am.
The series A round was led by Human Ventures Capital, a firm founded by Reserve co-founder Joe Marchese, and Expa, the startup studio from Uber co-founder Garrett Camp that helped design Reserve. New investors include SV Angel, Venture 51 and Visionnaire Ventures. Existing investors who also participated in the round include First Round, Lowercase Capital, Advancit Capital and Sherpa Ventures.
Marchese — the founder of ad tech firm TrueX, which was acquired in December by 21st Century Fox for a reported $200 million — co-founded Reserve with Greg Hong, who serves as chief executive. The app launched in Los Angeles, New York and Boston in October and has since expanded into San Francisco. But don’t expect it to offer up reservations at every restaurant in those cities. The app currently works with just over 110 partners and focuses on trendy or highly rated restaurants in each city. A quick perusal of the Los Angeles options shows about two dozen restaurants from downtown to Santa Monica to Hermosa Beach.
In addition to helping people make reservations at highly coveted tables, Reserve also handles payment for diners by storing credit card information and tip preferences.
Reserve is going after a market already dominated by OpenTable, the restaurant management system that was acquired by The Priceline Group in 2014 for $2.6 billion. Startups in the space have proliferated in recent years. New York-based Zurvu, for instance, charges diners $5 a head to make reservations through its site, and Killer Rezzy charges $25 to book a table. Meanwhile, Table8, which has raised nearly $5 million in seed funding, establishes relationships with select restaurants to help its users score last-minute reservations.
Reserve’s recent funding brings its total to $17.3 million. Hong wrote in a blog post that the money will be put toward bringing “a better dining experience to more restaurant partners and diners, in more cities on more devices, for special occasions and everyday meals.”
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