700 new jobs as Flipdish gains unicorn status

Dublin food ordering company Flipdish is now Ireland’s newest unicorn.

Europe and potentially Asia-focused online ordering and digital experience platform for hospitality Flipdish has raised $100m in a round led by Tencent.

The funding values the company at more than $1.25bn and follows a $48.5m investment led by Tiger Global Management in February.

“Digitisation has been transforming the hospitality sector for years. The ongoing pandemic has further accelerated the trend with hospitality businesses becoming increasingly dependent on digital experiences to attract and retain customers”

Flipdish said the investment will be used to grow global operations, fund R&D in products that improve the hospitality industry’s digital experience for consumers and support new customers like cinemas, stadia and airports.

The future of food

Founded by brothers Conor and James McCarthy in 2015, Flipdish allows hospitality businesses to deliver seamless consumer digital experiences which drive business growth. The unicorn provides technology that powers QR code order & pay at table, online ordering for collection & delivery, self-service kiosks, customer loyalty, and digital marketing. 

Tencent will join existing Flipdish investors Tiger Global, Global Founders Capital, Elkstone, Enterprise Ireland and Growing Capital.

“Digitisation has been transforming the hospitality sector for years,” said Flipdish co-founder and CEO Conor McCarthy. “The ongoing pandemic has further accelerated the trend with hospitality businesses becoming increasingly dependent on digital experiences to attract and retain customers. Our investment will help us to empower more hospitality businesses around the world to grow with the best-in-class technology.

 “If you want to see the future of digital customer experience and food delivery, look to China. Tencent is our ideal partner with its track record of supporting food delivery companies. Armed with Tencent’s insight and experience, Flipdish will be supercharged in 2022.”

Flipdish operates in 25 countries including France, Germany, Ireland, Spain, the UK and the US, with thousands of independent restaurant customers including some well known Irish brand leaders such as Dunnes Stores, Romayo’s, Base Pizza, Bombay Pantry, The White Moose Cafe and Mao as well as major international brands like Subway, Cojean, and Galeries Lafayette. Flipdish also works with some of the world’s largest ghost kitchen companies, which partner with the likes of TGI Friday’s, White Castle, Dickey’s BBQ Pit, and many more. 

Flipdish has seen rapid revenue growth across multiple markets in 2021, fueled by restaurant owners bringing their online ordering capability in house, rather than relying on a food delivery marketplace, the rapid adoption of their on-premise solutions like QR Code Order & Pay, and the growth of exciting new verticals like dark kitchens. 

As part of the investment, Flipdish will be hiring 700 people in 2022. The majority are technology roles such as software architects, data scientists, engineers and product designers. Others include a host of commercial roles.

Numis acted as sole financial advisors to Flipdish.

Main image at top: Flipdish founders James and Conor McCarthy

John Kennedy
Award-winning ThinkBusiness.ie editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.

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