If you want to order food, you probably already use Seamless, Grubhub, or maybe Postmates to get it for you.
But if you’re on a college campus, there’s a startup that will let you order food from your favourite places and even learn your order. After enough time, it will know that you get your Starbucks mocha every Monday morning and will ask you if you want to order it again.
That company is called Tapingo, and on Thursday it announced that it has raised $US22 million in venture capital funding from Qualcomm Ventures, DCM Ventures, Kinzon Capital, Khosla Ventures, and Carmel Ventures.
“When you buy a coffee, you shouldn’t have to wait in line, pay at a register, then wait again,” Tapingo founder and CEO Daniel Almog said. “Your phone should know what kind of coffee you like and make sure it’s available for you — where you need it, when you n
The new cash injection follows Tapingo’s Series B round in February 2014, in which it raised $US10.5 million from Khosla Ventures and Carmel Ventures. In total, Tapingo has raised $US14 million since its 2010 founding.
How it works: When you’re hungry, you open up the mobile Tapingo app and order food from a list of local restaurants that work with Tapingo. When you get to the restaurant, instead of waiting in line like everyone else, you skip the line and grab your food. The payment happens through the app so it’s a seamless, cashless transaction. Tapingo uses machine learning so that after a while, it learns what you like to order, and will make suggestions for you.
More than 85 universities — up from two dozen since it launched on college campuses last year — use Tapingo, including New York University, University of Southern California, George Mason University, and the University of Arizona. The company says that it does more than 25,000 transactions daily, and an average person uses Tapingo four times a week.
Tapingo works, especially at college campuses, because it caters to impatience and fills the need for immediacy and on-demand service. And if college students’ tweets are to be trusted, Tapingo is an answer to a sleep-deprived college student’s prayers: it lets users order from restaurants — including Starbucks — and pick up their order instead of standing in a long line.
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