Anzac spirit: hospitality ordering platform HungryHungry merges with New Zealand’s Mobi

- May 23, 2024 2 MIN READ
Mark Calabro, Shannon Hautot
HungryHungry cofounders Mark Calabro & Shannon Hautot.
Two more hospitality payments platforms have merged as the sector continues to consolidate with Melbourne’s HungryHungry joining forces with New Zealand white label mobile payments platform MOBI.

The deal follows the merger of rival meal ordering apps Mr Yum and me&u in late 2023.

HungryHungry, founded in 2019 Shannon Hautot and Mark Calabro, began life as a wholesale ordering platform, going on to raise $2 million in an Angel funds in 2020, and $8 million in a Seed round the following year. The paid also sold their 20-year point-of-sale business, OrderMate, in 2021.

As the pandemic transformed the sector, HungryHungry focus on online ordering and payments. Mobi has been around for 14 years, but its founder departed the business in 2022.

The terms of the merger have not been disclosed. The HungryHungry duo will take charge of Wellington-based MOBI, which operates in more than 4,000 venues across 15 countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the US, amid ambitions to expand their presence in North America. 

Hautot, the CEO, said the new entity creates a unique combination of consumer facing technology to drive new customers for venues, while also offering a white label technology platform that allows brands to effectively engage with customers and generate lasting brand loyalty 

“Having been in this space for over two decades It’s a rare opportunity to witness  two strong, established and profitable companies come together with a vision of  combining forces to deliver massive value for customers,” he said.

“We may be the underdogs in our space, having only raised a fraction of outside  capital compared with some of our peers, but that means we’ve had to be very  efficient and respectful with how we spend our investors’ money.”

With the hospitality sector already under pressure, with the closure of ventures amid reduced consumer spending, increased pressure on already slim margins, and restaurateurs struggling to find staff, a tech sector that saw restaurants as a golden egg during explosive pandemic-driven growth has also been forced to reassess its strategies and create greater value.

HungryHungry has already used its merger with MOBI to create a payments product, HungryPay, which addresses a major bug bear in allowing diners to split bills and also provides appeal to markets like the US, where the focus is on staff taking orders and tipping.

Hautot also enjoys the luxury of overseeing two profitable tech platforms. 

“We share a genuine desire to create a powerful, sustainable market leader in the hospitality sector, that will act as a growth engine to stimulate the industry, whilst  continuing to lead with innovation and integrity,” he said.

“Together with MOBI, we are better positioned than ever to innovate, scale, and meet the evolving needs of the  global hospitality industry, both SMB and Enterprise, with big plans to sprint past  our competitors.” 

HungryHungry chairman Brodie Arnhold sees opportunity offshore.

 “It is great to have two profitable businesses come together in a move that will further consolidate the market and create significant value for shareholders of both companies,” he said.

“Being EBITDA positive, cashflow positive and debt free, means we can really strategically target new products, new markets and look at  further M&A opportunities for growth.”