San Francisco-based Tapingo, which was founded in Israel and also has offices in Tel Aviv, has announced a $22 million investment led by Qualcomm Incorporated through its investment arm Qualcomm Ventures. DCM Ventures, Kinzon Capital, and existing investors Khosla Ventures and Carmel Ventures also participated in the round. The company has so far raised $36 million. It will use the funding to accelerate its expansion beyond the college market, with the goal of transforming local commerce.
Tapingo is led by founder and CEO Daniel Almog and CTO Udi Oster, who met in the IDF’s intelligence unit. The company's mobile-ordering technology is designed to make buying things quicker and more convenient. Tapingo uses machine-learning technology to determine user preferences from everyday behavior, and then match those preferences with what’s available nearby.
“When you buy a coffee, you shouldn’t have to wait in line, pay at a register, then wait again,” says Almog. “Your phone should know what kind of coffee you like and make sure it’s available for you-where you need it, when you need it.”
After Tapingo went viral at the College of Management in Rishon LeZion in Israel, Almog and Oster moved to the USA to tap into its large college market. Since then, Tapingo has grown from two dozen campuses to more than 85 across the US. Tapingo currently processes more than 25,000 transactions per day, with the average user transacting more than four times per week-making it larger than any other on-demand ordering service.
“Our vision was always to begin with dense retail ecosystems involving high-frequency transactions. We realized that college campuses were the perfect proving ground,” says Almog. “What we didn’t anticipate was how quickly universities and students would adopt this new behavior. This validated our decision to bring the technology to analogous ecosystems.”
Almog says that the company has an extremely loyal, growing user base to serve as a foundation for pursuing new verticals. Earlier this year, the company expanded into several new services, including delivery and general campus retail. Tapingo will use the new round of funding to hire aggressively as well as invest in product development, operations, and marketing.
"Tapingo has used a mobile-first approach to create a win-win for consumers and merchants," says Mony Hassid, Senior Director of Qualcomm Ventures. "We believe that they are uniquely positioned to win the large and growing local-commerce market."
Tapingo offers merchant partners simple infrastructure for order processing. It says that it helps merchants gain new customers, grow loyalty and usage among existing customers, and cut costs.
Tapingo received a Series A investment led by Carmel Ventures and a Series B investment led by Khosla Ventures before the current funding round.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 2, 2015
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