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Repeat expects to raise more than $10m in series B round for spreading wings

(Image credit: Future)

Dubai-based tech start-up Repeat is planning to raise more than $10m in series B round for its expansion plans after raising $2.5m in series A round recently.

Repeat is the world’s first smart loyalty platform for restaurants that dynamically rewards its customers by offering tailored rewards based on the frequency and spend.

Omer Gurel, co-founder of Repeat, told TechRadar Middle East, that they plan to raise more than $10m by the end of the first quarter of next year.

The start-up has invested $2.6m into its business out of the $4.5m raised and aims to breakeven by the end of 2020 in the UAE.

The project started two years ago but was launched 10 months ago.

Right now, it is available only in the UAE but plans to expand into Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and to London in 2020.

Gurel said that India is also on the radar but with a right partner.

“I believe in India and there is a growing middle-class segment and the country will be a superpower in the next 25 years but it is not a focus right now for us as the ticket size of the meal is very small. The dining space still has a lot to mature. China has 15 times more restaurants than India and Australia, with 30m population, has the same amount of restaurants as India,” he said.

By 2023, Repeat aims to be available in 75 cities and with 15m active users. Right now, it has 15,000 active monthly users in the UAE and 50,000 people have used the app so far.

Personalised pricing model

Repeat, which has 450 restaurants onboard, aims to have more than 2,000 outlets from the UAE by the end of next year.

Some key clients include Nando’s, California Pizza Kitchen, Yo Sushi, Burger Fuel, Circle Café, Projeto Acai, Max’s, Yugo and Mizu.

 “Our core business is personalised pricing. The price you pay for a transaction is determined by your past behaviour. Personalised pricing leads to price integrity and every loyalty programme needs to create extraordinary behaviour,” he said.

 “The existing legacy systems, such as eight times you come and you get a coffee free for the ninth time or spend AED100 and get 100 points, is like quantum physics and they don’t take into consideration the time element.

“Without taking into consideration the time element, then you don’t guarantee that you make money for the merchant. The Holy Grail in the loyalty business is how to give better prices for your customers and, at the same time, increase revenue. If you can’t increase revenue at the same time, it doesn’t work,” he said.

In simple terms, you get a discounted price on the bill, the sooner you go back to a restaurant than a person who goes every three weeks and you also get a discounted price if you spend more.

Dubai has two-thirds of UAE's F&B footprint

In the UAE, Gurel said that there are 12,000 restaurants and out of that 7,000 are in Dubai or other words, Dubai has one-third of the UAE’s population footprint but it [Dubai] is responsible for two-thirds of the F&B footprint.

 “We have increased our merchants’ revenue by an average of 25% for all transactions going through the app,” he said.

The start-up is planning to build a coin mechanism on the app by the end of the year.

The current version, he said takes into consideration how soon you come back but does not take into consideration how much you spend.

“With the coin mechanism, if you are good spender but less frequent, you will still be able to buy back the offers, offered for frequent buyers, with the coin earned,” he said.

The app is free for end-users but merchants are charged a small percentage per bill.

When asked how the business idea came into his mind, he said: “I went to a restaurant three times a week when on a holiday in Turkey. I jokingly said to the owner on my third visit, who is also the cashier, that you should give me a 20% discount and he gave me. Then I thought that this is something which can work.”