Hospitality ordering platforms Mr Yum and Me&u are exploring a potential merger as their rapid ascent during Covid begins to plateau post pandemic.
A spokesperson for Mr Yum confirmed to Startup Daily that talks are currently underway.
“Mr Yum confirms that it is in preliminary discussions with me&u regarding a potential merger to accelerate the growth of both companies,” they said.
“Conversations are in the very early stages and no decisions have been made. Mr Yum will not be making any further comment at this time.”
In March, Mr Yum cut 40 roles at the company.
CEO and cofounder Kim Teo said in announcing the redundancies that they’d made “the strategic decision to get to profitability with our current cash reserves and control our destiny”.
While the QR-code startup, founded in November 2018, nearly doubled its ordering revenue last year and grew overall company revenue by 2.7 times following its acquisition of Melbourne startup MyGuestlist and it subsidiary CRM platform Sprout 12 months ago, Mr Yum also shed 17% of its workforce – around 40 jobs – last August, with Teo saying at the time that they had “increased our headcount too quickly” and those redundancies were “to extend our runway while capital markets remain uncertain”.
Mr Yum raised $89 million in a Series A, led by US VC giant Tiger Global in November 2021 – and $100 million in total over six months.
Meanwhile, rival pub meal ordering platform Me&u raised $30 million in December last year in a round led by Acorn Capital that purportedly give sthe 3.5-year-old startup enough runway to get to profitability next financial year. Details of the raise – the company was reportedly seeing up to $50 million – only emerged last month.
Me&u has raised a total of $66 million.
Its backers include Merivale CEO Justin Hemmes, with the app rolled out across his Sydney hotels empire, chef Neil Perry, Urban Purveyor Group founder John Szangolies, and former Facebook, Uber, MYOB and Google execs William Easton, Mike Abbott, Tim Reed, and Jason Pellegrino.
Me&u is the sector’s 800-pound gorilla, with 70% market share of the country’s top pub groups compared to 20% for Mr Yum and 10% for others.
Daily startup news and insights, delivered to your inbox.