Representational Image (Pixabay)
UK-based Compass Group's India unit on March 18 announced the acquisition of a majority stake in online food-tech startup SmartQ that provides services in the digital cafeteria segment.Moneycontrol
first reported about his deal in September
Founded in 2014, by Krishna Wage and Abhishek Ashok, SmartQ provides services such as automated billing kiosks, centralised billing system, NFC prepaid cards, POS software to companies. It works towards enhancing cafeteria and food-court experience by eliminating queues and minimising wait time.
The acquisition will enable Compass India, to develop and deploy these solutions that will help their clients enhance employee workplace experience playing a key role in reshaping Compass India’s “return to work” strategy.
As employees return to work, Compass India will utilise SmartQ’s technology solutions such as a mobile app for food ordering at the workplace, self-ordering kiosks, cashier-less cafeteria and Point-of-Sale (PoS) solutions, and cloud-controlled Intelligent Menu Display Systems to support social distancing and eliminating queues through its click and collect initiatives in workplaces.
The company has started deploying these solutions and will soon be rolling it out in Compass Group’s client sites in many countries including the UK, India, and New Zealand with plans to add USA, Japan, and Singapore by end of this year.
"The workforce in India today is increasingly made up of people who have either grown up or are deeply accustomed to personal technology. They are our core consumers and are driving a change in the way we operate contract food services to meet their needs. Tech solutions that deliver seamless, enhanced experiences like menu discovery, pre-ordering, payment and post-order support have become an increasingly important part of the food experience at work. We want to be at the forefront of this change, continually leading innovation and reinventing our service and experience model," said Dev Amritesh, managing director for Compass Group India.
SmartQ last announced a $1-million fundraise from a consortium of Dubai-based investors in 2018. Existing investor YourNest participated in the round as well.
Compass Group is one of the world's leading providers of contract food and support services with a presence in 45 countries. It counts over 96 of the Fortune 100 companies as its clients.
Compass Group India is the wholly-owned subsidiary of Compass Group PLC and has been in the country since 2008.
On the other hand, SmartQ competes with the likes of HungerBox and Sodexo. HungerBox has investment from Paytm and investors such as Sabre Partners and Neoplux. It raised $12 million in December.