FoodTech Startup SmartQ Acquires Nexus-Backed Goodbox Cafeteria Business

Bengaluru-based food tech startup SmartQ has acquired Nexus Venture Partners-backed Goodbox’s cafeteria business for an undisclosed amount in an all-cash deal.
The deal size is expected to be $800K (INR 5.5 Cr).
The development comes just a few months after SmartQ raised close to $1 Mn in funding from a consortium of Dubai-based investors. The existing investor, YourNest, also participated in this round.
With this acquisition, SmartQ aims to increase its customer base. On the other hand, by offloading its cafeteria business, Goodbox wants to focus on its hyperlocal business.
“We have sold our cafeteria business to SmartQ. We wanted to focus on the hyperlocal business and are exiting the cafeteria solution as it is non-core to us now” said Abey Zachariah, CEO, Goodbox.
Founded in 2015, Goodbox provides businesses with a Mini App and provides customers with a Mega App to discover 1000s of Mini Apps.
Businesses can create a Mini App at less than 1% of the cost of making their own app and within just five minutes. Mini Apps are readymade apps that are power-packed with features such as messaging, catalog, online payments, booking engines, reward points etc.
Businesses invite their own customers to their Mini App to interact with them directly. These Mini Apps are accessible within the Goodbox Mega App, making it the only app consumers need to buy from millions of businesses.
Goodbox is a commission-free platform and works on extremely affordable yearly pricing plans that suit businesses of all sizes.
On the other hand, SmartQ, founded by Krishna Wage and Abhishek Ashok in 2014, enables a digital cafeteria experience across different sectors including corporates, malls, multiplexes, stadiums, hospitals and colleges. The digital cafeteria platform includes mobile applications, automated billing kiosks, centralised billing system, NFC prepaid cards, POS software etc.
The primary value proposition that SmartQ offers is the capability to transform any conventional cafeteria into one that is completely digital and cashless. This enhances cafeteria and food-court experience by eliminating queues, minimising wait time, and increasing collaborative work time. The company claims to have been growing 50% month-on-month and clocked over 100K transactions every day, as of March 2018.
Digital cafeterias are the new trend for foodtech startups. Similar to SmartQ, there is HungerBox, which is currently serving more than 110 digital cafeterias and has also recently raised $2.5 Mn in Series A funding round. It also offers 50 different payment methods to its clients. Another company is Zeta, which has introduced a host of digital ordering and payment facilities to digitise the existing cafeterias in the corporate organisations.

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