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UK restaurant payment app Velocity acquires Canadian rival in North American invasion

3 min read

16 October 2015

Former deputy editor

In what marks its second acquisition in under a month, London-based digital restaurant service Velocity has bought Canadian counterpart Tab Payments, which will provide access to more than 100 new eatery clients in Toronto and Montreal as the British firm embarks on conquering America.

Seemingly Velocity is feeling particularly flush, following the completion of a $16m Series A round in September, following additional $4m in funding from Greenshoe.

The capital has allowed the business, which is headquartered in London’s Mayfair, to set out a global expansion plan that has North America directly in its sights.

Velocity’s platform blends hospitality and digital via mobile with an app that allows users to aggregate rewards from restaurants and also monitor and settle bills in real-time. Businesses, meanwhile, can access a dashboard to monitor and manage transactions and customer relationships.

Of course, this type of innovation isn’t new, as we witnessed in July that media firm Time Out invested $7m in Flypay – a provider of pay-at-table services for the likes of Wahaca, Jamie’s Italian and Gourmet Burger Kitchen.

That hasn’t Velocity from cultivating its own client base and growing the business, as the firm bought US-based mobile payments service Cover in September – a deal that saw it secure access to more than 350 restaurants across America in locations such as New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles

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Following that under a month later, Velocity has taken over Canada-based Tab Payments, which is used in over 100 restaurants across Toronto and Montreal, to expand its footprint across North America.

In fact, the company has now opened an NYC office to keep the growth in the region on track. Velocity highlighted the Canadian deal will be a boon for the business, as Toronto and Montreal are the fourth and ninth largest cities in the US, respectively.

“We’re committed to building an international hospitality platform,” said Alex Macdonald, Velocity co-Founder and co-CEO. “With the acquisition of Tab, we strengthen our global leadership position with reservations technology and 100 premier restaurants in Canada.”

Velocity positions itself as a service provider for premier restaurants and claims to increase the spend per head by as much as 14 per cent, while saving venues up to 80 man hours per month as a result of less need to manage bills.

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Zia Yusuf, Velocity co-Founder and co-CEO, added: “We will help restaurants give diners a house account experience anywhere they go. Global spenders seek sought-after tables when they travel, and restaurateurs want to know more about their guests. Our international hospitality platform connects these two constituencies.”

Tab Payments co-founder Adam Epstein will lead operations for Velocity’s in Toronto and Montreal, while co-founder Mike Kimel, who also owners the Chase Restaurant Group, will join the Velocity board of advisors.