Just Eat backs Flypay to help restaurant and pub chains consolidate their tech

Just Eat, the online takeout ordering behemoth, has invested in U.K. startup Flypay, which has built a platform to help restaurant and pub chains consolidate their various and disparate technology solutions. The size of the round is £3.5 million and serves as an extension to the company’s previous Series A that saw it pick up £7 million led by media brand TimeOut.

The investment is also described as a “strategic partnership” and sees Just Eat become the latest tech partner on Flypay’s Flyt platform, which lets restaurants and pubs/bars integrate numerous tech and services, from bookings and loyalty, to things like delivery and reviews.

The startup originally focussed on providing a pay-at-table app to let you settle your restaurant bill “waiter-free,” before adding additional services such as order and collect, order at table, pay at bar and customer loyalty features.

However, it has since realised that there is more value in building a technology stack that doesn’t just compete with but integrates many of the tech solutions the hospitality industry already uses.

“For hospitality operators, our new Flyt platform aims to make it significantly easier to innovate around digital commerce, both in terms of integrating technologies across the customer journey… into their own apps, as well as connecting into the biggest aggregator apps and other platforms, such as messaging, voice commerce and who-knows-what’s-next,” Flypay founder and CEO Tom Weaver tells me.

“Our customers are mainstream casual dining and pubs brands. We currently work with clients like Wahaca, GBK, Jamie’s Italian, Fuller’s, Chilango, and many others. We’ve just signed one of the most popular restaurant brands in the U.K., to be announced shortly, to create some uniquely different experiences,” he adds.

To that end, Just Eat and Flypay say they plan to collaborate on “digital experiences” for operators across the casual dining sector. This will see Flypay integrating delivery into restaurant and bars’ own apps, powered by Flyt. But that’s just the start.

There’s also plans to offer Just Eat’s customer base access to in-restaurant experiences, and to work together to make it easier for restaurant, pub and bar operators to “adopt and utilise delivery technology”.

Says David Buttress, CEO of Just Eat, in a statement: “Investing in Flypay will enable us to continue to build a seamless experience for consumers who will be able to order, pay, receive customer care and book delivery through the same product. The technology will help us to enhance our offer to casual dining restaurant chains, enabling them to fulfil delivery using Just Eat. The Flyt platform has the potential to transform the digital journey in the casual dining space and we see huge potential in this technology.”