A tech business that allows diners to order and pay for food and drink via self-service options such as kiosks, mobile ordering and pay-at-table solutions, is using a unique co-investment model to fund the next stage of its growth.
Investors can now join professionals, institutions and funds to buy shares in multi-channel order and payment specialist QikServe, a software-as-a-service business aiming to become a global leader in digital self-service solutions for the hospitality market.
Currently raising new funding from both existing and new institutional investors, QikServe is also being listed on the GrowthFunders online equity co-investment platform, with the possibility of up to £500,000 available to new investors.
GrowthFunders is part of the groundbreaking investment model of fintech firm Growth Capital Ventures, GCV. While investing in shares always places the investor’s capital at risk, this model allows retail investors from the general public to invest alongside experienced and sophisticated investors and financial institutions. They can use the GrowthFunders website to learn about carefully vetted investment opportunities then invest from £100 upwards through a simple online transaction.
QikServe’s mobile ordering technology has been rolled out in Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, owned and operated by HMSHost International, a major world player in the food and hospitality industry. The company has also won other key customers and is forming a growing network of partners.
QikServe’s platform facilitates ordering and paying for food and drinks in hospitality operations – allowing users to order and pay for items themselves, via the channel of their choice. This enables its clients to use several digital channels including: self-service kiosks; table tablets/pay at table; mobile apps; and web ordering. QikServe helps companies transform the guest experience, increase the bill size, reduce waiting times and achieve overall operational efficiencies.
Founded in 2011 by entrepreneurs Daniel Rogers and Ronnie Forbes, QikServe has benefited from the ongoing support of its existing investors to finance its development and recent successful pilot schemes have led to contracts being secured with a number of global hospitality businesses. In late 2016, the business raised £2.7m, including a £2m investment from Maven Capital Partners.
Investment in QikServe is EIS eligible, so 30% of the cost of the shares can be set against income tax liability for the tax year of investment, or, by using a ‘carry back’ facility, all or part of the cost of shares can be set against the tax bill of the year before. This relief can be claimed on a maximum of £1m investment, giving a possible tax reduction in any one year of up to £300,000, depending on the amount invested and individual circumstances.
Maven’s investment director Dr David Milroy, who is responsible for the investment in QikServe, says: “Maven has supported and worked with QikServe since 2016. During this time the company has successfully tackled a number of technical, logistical and commercial challenges and in doing so has positioned itself as a leading digital self-service solution for the global hospitality sector. This is an attractive market undergoing significant change with the key operators facing real challenges that QikServe is uniquely placed to address. QikServe’s fully approved integration into the market’s leading point-of-sale system further differentiates the business and has helped it secure contracts with dominant players in the market.”
Investment and operations director of Growth Capital Ventures Jordan Dargue says: “This is the latest opportunity we have brought to market using our highly successful co-investment model which gives ordinary investors the chance to buy shares alongside professionals, institutions and investment funds which have rigorously vetted the business before anchoring the investment. The EIS relief, which is one of the Inland Revenue’s best kept secrets, is a bonus which allows an investor to lower their tax bill and makes this a particularly attractive opportunity. Investors wanting to share in this have until April 27 to simply log onto the GrowthFunders site for full details and to buy shares.’’