Mobi2Go has seen a 300 per cent increase in sign-ups since the Covid-19 outbreak, co-founder and CEO Tarik Mallett says.
The bull run - a rare good news story in the time of coronavirus - means Mallett is now lining up a Series B funding round that could run to $20 million.
His Courtenay Place, Wellington-based company makes online ordering software for the hospitality sector, and was run off its feet as restaurants and cafes scrambled for a solution to enable kerbside collection or online order and delivery.
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Extra bodies were brought onboard and the usual on-boarding time cut from weeks to days.
The level 3 day one feeding frenzy was duly a busy time for Mobi2Go.
The most popular choice for takeaways on Tuesday was burgers with 10,000 sold between 6pm and 7pm alone. Pizza was another popular option with 1500 sold during the same time period.
"At 6:00pm, within just one minute, Mobi2Go supported 1500 orders totalling $83,000," says Mallett, whose company takes a 3 per cent commission on sales.
"5390 individual items were ordered from 400 stores across New Zealand in just those 60 seconds".
Overall on Tuesday, 39,000 New Zealanders used Mobi2Go's platform, ordering a week's worth of takeaways in a day - helping to make up, in part, for the four-week level 4 revenue drought.
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Mobi2Go was founded in 2010, when Mallett threw together an online ordering system for a local pizza joint, helping it boost revenue. It now has thousands of customers in NZ, Australia, North America and Asia.
Along the way, it has gained the backing of two local venture capital players. It got its first major outside injection of capital when Lance Wiggs' Punakaiki Fund led a $1m seed round in 2015. A $5m Series A round followed last year, led by Movac.
At the time of Movac's investment (March 2019), Wiggs told Punakaiki investors that his company's 16.1 per cent stake was worth $3.8m and that "Movac holds 21.4 per cent for their $5m investment", implying that Mobi2Go was valued at just shy of $24m at that time.
Today, Mobi2Go has 35 staff, and offices in Wellington, Melbourne and Toronto.
Mallett - who remains the largest single shareholder - says around half of the company's business is now overseas.
The CEO was not up for a revenue projection for the year ahead. But in April last year, he told the Herald his company has processed $100m in orders over the previous 12 months. Beyond its aforementioned 3 per cent cut on sales, it charges from $39 per month for its service.
In the grand tradition of tech companies, Mobi2Go is focusing on growth over profit at this relatively early stage in its life cycle. Asked if his company is in the black, Mallett offers only "We're fortunate to have the backing of New Zealand's pre-eminent venture funds, Movac and Punakaiki, which allows us to focus on scaling, whilst keeping a line-of-sight on profitability." (Translation: "No.").
Many are offering online ordering solutions. What would make a hospo outfit choose Mallett's company?
"Mobi2Go works with New Zealand's most ambitious brands and is the trusted solution when it comes to digital ordering, partnering with our clients to grow their business," the CEO says.
It helps that he can boast a roster that includes Pita Pit, Zambrero and Burger Burger.
Mallett adds that his company's solution is "a fraction of the cost" of that offered by some of the huge global players, and he says Mobi2Go always has enough capacity to offer proper phone support.
What's next? Another capital raise.
"We anticipate a Series B round in the next 12 months," Mallett tells the Herald.
"To continue scaling internationally at the pace we are at least $10m. Most likely closer to $20m in reality."
The raise will be an interesting one to watch. His company is a hot prospect at a time when many think the spike in online ordering caused by the pandemic will endure long after the outbreak is over - but Covid-19 has also seen many VCs battening down their hatches, or being forced to concentrate on propping up their existing investments (A US Venture Capital Association report released on April 27 is titled "Capital Crunch over Coming Months").
Mallett is undaunted.
"I believe VC will still be looking to fund those companies with strong fundamentals and market opportunities such as Mobi2Go," he says.
And he says the raise will be at a higher valuation than 2019's $24m, though he won't put a figure on it at this point. "We've experienced considerable growth since our last round and would expect that to be reflected in our PE [private equity] value when we go out for Series B," he says.
Whoever does end up supporting the Series B round, Mallett says he'll be looking for more than just money - as his company did with its angel and Series A rounds, when contacts or market nous were factors.
"Movac and Punakaiki brought experience with high growth SaaS [software-as-a-service] businesses on an international scale, which is very valuable to us", Mallett says.
An NZX listing is a possibility down the track, but not something the company is immediately focusing on.