Restaurant booking site picks up $16m funding

London-based livebookings.com, a B2B online marketing and reservations service for the restaurant industry, has picked up another $16m of funding.


This brings the total raised so far to nearly $30m. The second round, completed last week, was led by Wellington Partners, with existing investors also contributing. During 2008/9, the site raised $12m from investors including Balderton Capital.


Restaurant owners can use livebookings.com technology to take bookings on their own website or shift their inventory via the Livebookings Network, which has partnerships with more than 500 sites worldwide, including lastminute.com.


In 2008, it delivered more than 2.4 million diners to restaurants worldwide, and surpassed that number in the first six months of this year.


Speaking on CNBC, livebookings.com co-founder and chief executive Niklas Eklund said that only 7% of restaurants have online booking capability, while 60% of customers use the web to research eating out. “That is the gap we are trying to bridge,” he said.


The company charges a monthly fee to restaurant subscribers, with a pay per transaction fee on top for new paying customers. The Livebookings Network works as an affiliate scheme, with the partner taking a share of the restaurants’ fee. Eklund pointed out that restaurants only pay affiliates for bookings, not traffic.

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