Gutsy app makes din­ing out in the Mother City a snap

Finweek English Edition - - Contents -

By Ti­mothy Ran­gongo

In­stead of go­ing through the hassle of phon­ing restau­rants to book a ta­ble, Capeto­nian food­ies can now turn to Feast­fox to find out, in real time, which venues have ta­bles open. Stu­art Mur­less, who man­aged to raise over R2m in fund­ing to­gether with his co-founders, ex­plains how they got this app off the ground.

jCo-founder of Feast­fox use the app once, and then use it re­peat­edly.

Tell us about your first book­ing.

It was the first com­pletely in­de­pen­dent book­ing where we didn’t know the per­son at all – with ab­so­lutely no link to us. The book­ing was at Nobu, one of our din­ing part­ners. It was pos­i­tive to see peo­ple who ap­pre­ci­ate fine din­ing and eat­ing at a great res­tau­rant were keen to use Feast­fox as part of that ex­pe­ri­ence.

How did you se­cure fund­ing to start Feast­fox?

Daniel Petz, one of the co-founders, led the fundrais­ing ef­fort. He is based in the US and is busy do­ing an MBA at Stan­ford. Hav­ing him based there opened a lot of doors and al­lowed us to ac­cess many net­works. It’s been re­ally great to have that fund­ing in place; it has made a huge dif­fer­ence. We used a rea­son­ably stan­dard four-page agree­ment called the SAFE (Sim­ple Agree­ment for a Fu­ture Eq­uity) agree­ment. Be­fore re­ceiv­ing the fund­ing we had to fund the busi­ness our­selves.

We are sit­ting on about R2.3m that we raised and we try to spend most of it on busi­ness devel­op­ment. In the next few months we are go­ing to be push­ing harder on the mar­ket­ing side.

You’ve got a bunch of re­ally great busi­nesses play­ing this pre-planned stage and no one re­ally play­ing the spon­ta­neous side, which is a much big­ger op­por­tu­nity.

What are the pros and cons for the SAFE agree­ment?

Lots and lots of pros. It’s very sim­ple to un­der­stand. The fun­ders don’t get eq­uity in the busi­ness at this stage. They get a right to con­vert into eq­uity when you do a first eq­ui­ty­based fundrais­ing. The ben­e­fit to them of get­ting in early is that they will get to con­vert it into eq­uity at an agreed capped val­u­a­tion. It takes out the le­gal and reg­u­la­tory bur­den that you’d have at this early stage, which makes a lot of sense. It doesn’t make sense to be spend­ing a big chunk of what you’re rais­ing on lawyer fees when you’re in such an early stage.

Stu­art Mur­less

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