TABLEAPP Is Now Acquired By FunNow, Here’s What Users Can Expect

Thanks to an undisclosed sum including cash and stocks, Malaysian online restaurant reservation startup TABLEAPP has just been acquired by Taiwanese on-demand lifestyle booking app FunNow.

While operating in similar markets, the two apps themselves operate quite differently, but this acquisition will allow them to take advantage of each other’s offerings.

We spoke to Benson Chang, CEO of TABLEAPP, to learn more about what the acquisition would mean for the Malaysian startup.

Stronger and better together

The strength of FunNow is that it allows users to make instant (last minute) reservations for various entertainment and leisure venues such as lounges, bistros, spas and beauty centers.

Present in Malaysia for about 5 years now, it now offers around 1000 offers.

FunNow page for its Kuala Lumpur offers

On the other hand, TABLEAPP has been serving diners in Malaysia since its inception in 2013. To date, it hosts more than 6.3 million diners.

Through its website and mobile app, customers can make free, real-time restaurant reservations 24/7 with instant online confirmation.

More than that, he also activated a table management system for traders.

With its acquisition by FunNow, TABLEAPP will now allow restaurants to sell their empty tables at the last minute, expanding its user base, Benson shared.

However, users will now have to pay when making reservations, but they will also get a discount to sweeten the experience.

This change allows merchants to reduce or eliminate their no-show rate, which is more likely to happen with free bookings.

So not only will merchants be able to offer their planned reservations, but they will also be able to fill empty tables at the last minute.

Users get the best of both

Benson believes this move will put TABLEAPP ahead of the game, particularly in the current COVID-19 pandemic where every table filled matters more than ever.

Current TABLEAPP website

“Imagine if you get 8 no-shows out of 10 reservations it will seriously harm restaurants,” he said.

This is where he sees the benefit of the combined platform in helping restaurants eliminate no-shows and maximize revenue.

IT integration of the two platforms will begin in Q1 2021 and merchants with TABLEAPP will not have to worry about the system change.

According to Benson, the two platforms will still operate independently despite the acquisition, with TABLEAPP continuing to focus on serving foodservice merchants, while FunNow continues to provide consumer-focused services.

Users will simply get the best of both worlds.

Combination of several existing concepts in a single platform

The combined platform will not be completely renamed; TABLEAPP will now be known as TABLEAPP from FunNow.

By leveraging TABLEAPP’s local footprint and FunNow’s international resources, Benson believes they have what it takes to become a leading lifestyle platform in Malaysia.

To further complement their offerings, they plan to expand FunNow ‘services to other sectors in Malaysia. For example, Benson said they will soon be launching a hotel room reservation service.

From what I have learned so far, the additional services that TABLEAPP from FunNow would offer in the F&B sector are reminiscent of what Eatigo already offers.

On Eatigo, you can also get instant or scheduled bookings with discount offers. So it’s not an entirely new concept in Malaysia.

However, if we talk about what TABLEAPP and FunNow can offer as a combined platform, in terms of F&B and on demand lifestyle bookings with discounts, I don’t think we have such an all-in-one platform yet.

It would be interesting to see the welcome of the combined platform once it is fully deployed, but I wonder about their plans to offer hotel room reservations.

With platforms like Agoda, Traveloka, and already dominating this market, it might be difficult for the team to break into.

Not one to rest on its laurels

Despite my concerns, TABLEAPP has proven to be a startup that does not stay inactive for long with its offers.

In 2017, TABLEAPP launched its very first paid subscription program, TABLEAPP ELITE, which allowed members to redeem premium signature dishes for free at the best restaurants in the Klang Valley.

In April 2020, TABLEAPP launched its delivery service and meal voucher program to help restaurateurs get through difficult pandemic times.

This time around, I believe the startup will find a way to accomplish what it is now set to do, and from a consumer perspective, the more convenient services we have, the better.

  • You can read more about TABLEAPP here and FunNow here.
  • You can read more acquisition stories here.

Featured Image Credit: Benson Chang, CEO of TABLEAPP / Philip Ting, Founding Partner and Southeast Asia Director of FunNow

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Jothi Venkat

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