Nine-year-old restaurant loyalty platform Liven has spent $152 million acquiring four complementary hospitality tech companies – two in Australia, plus one in Singapore and another in California, as it looks to expand its product range and international presence.
The Melbourne data company snapped up the veteran online meal ordering business OrderUp, seven-year-old restaurant point-of-sale solution Abacus, US restaurant payments business Copper and Singapore food supplies ordering platform Zeemart.
The spending comes after Liven’s loyalty and engagement platform took a major financial hit over the collapse of Melbourne CBD establish Calia last month, with SmartCompany reporting that Liven is owed around $2 million. Liven offers cashback rewards for diners to redeem on future purchases, but SmartCompany revealed that the business also lends to hospitality clients and had lend funds to Calia, which was handed to voluntary administrators at Jirsch Sutherland in late June.
A Liven spokesperson said the collapse of Calia “has nothing to do with us and impacts us in no way”.
The customer loyalty platform has more than 6000 customers across Australia, South East Asia and the US, offering hospitality tech solutions spanning front-of-house to the kitchen and back-office. It has more than 200 employees, with offices in Sydney, Brisbane, New York, Singapore, and Indonesia alongside its Melbourne HQ.
“The cost and complexity aren’t sustainable – and are magnified whenever they need support, new features, or to train staff,” she said.
“We’ve been quietly building one of Australia’s fastest-growing SaaS technology start-ups. Our platform is fuelled by a constant stream of innovation inspired by insights from leading operators. Now that innovation starts on a single unified platform, magnifying the benefits operators will see and how quickly they will see it.”
Her cofounder and co-CEO Shahrooz Chowdhury said the five companies combined will help transform the hospitality industry
“Where other companies are horizontally merging around single-point features like ordering or POS to reduce costs, Liven has focused on a vertical acquisition strategy that addresses the core problems hospitality faces – technology and data fragmentation that holds back innovation and increased costs,” he said.
Liven has been coy about its capital raising, having last taken on funding from VC Artesian 12 months ago in an undisclosed round, and in 2020, Latvian entrepreneur Marat Kichikov, managing partner at BitFury Capital, also invested an undisclosed sum.
The company also got into the crypto craze in 2019 after setting out to raise $74 million via an initial coin offering (ICO) in 2018. Ultimately the business raised $14 million 12 months later, rebranding the ICO as a private token sale.