Velocity, which was launched last year by friends Alex Macdonald and Zia Yusuf, is aimed at 'global spenders and tastemakers' who want to be able to settle their restaurant and bar bills quickly and easily.
The company already works with hundreds of restaurants in the UK, including Hix Restaurants, Sketch and Gymkhana, but the Cover Inc. acquisition will more than double its reach internationally, adding another 350 restaurants in the US to its business.
“With the acquisition, we are excited to bring our suite of loyalty, CRM, and analytics tools to restaurateurs in the US, enabling them to identify, attract, and retain high value, trend-setting customers," said Macdonald." We see ourselves as a hospitality company first, and a technology company second – a value shared with our newly expanded U.S. team.”
Velocity was set up by Yusuf, a former executive director at Goldman Sachs and Macdonald after the pair had been frustrated at waiting 45 minutes to pay a bill in a high-end bar. The app allows diners to monitor their restaurant or bar bill, split it if they wish and pay quickly and easily through their phone. It charges restaurants a small fee for each transaction and subscription fees for the analytics programmes it offers.
“We are helping leading restaurants improve yield by driving more revenue per cover and attracting influencers,” said Yusuf. “Meanwhile, the global spenders and tastemakers want access to the sought-after tables at the best venues. Harnessing mobile payments enables customers to leverage their profiles across the globe, and we are building an international hospitality brand to connect these two constituencies”.