Coca-Cola upping its digital game with startups investment

Amatil X invests in TabSquare, a Singapore-based restaurant tech startup

Coca-Cola Amatil is making good its promise to transform the enterprise for the digital era, by increasing its stake in startups with an investment in TabSquare. It announced it has taken a minority stake in the Singapore-based restaurant tech startup via its corporate venturing platform, Amatil X.

It is the second investment made by Amatil X since its launch in April and follows an investment in Australian startup, app and POS integration company, Doshii, in August.

TabSquare provides artificial intelligence-powered in-restaurant solutions to improve the restaurant experience for diners and improve operational efficiency for restaurant owners.

Group director partners and growth at Coca-Cola Amatil, Chris Sullivan, said Amatil X was set up to enable the company to participate in the start-up ecosystem, to leverage start-ups to support the existing businesses, and to explore future growth opportunities.

“This includes investing in restaurant tech companies like TabSquare, which has developed a solution to benefit restaurants and their customers by using technology to streamline and personalise the dining experience,” Sullivan said.

Amatil X was introduced to TabSquare by an employee participating in Coca-Cola Amatil’s corporate accelerator program, Xcelerate.

“Our employee’s startup idea was very similar to TabSquare, so they decided to explore TabSquare rather than reinvent the wheel.”

“We were impressed by the solution that TabSquare was promoting which has led us to invest in them. They have a strong team, a clear business model and ambitious growth plans, which include expanding from their established Singapore base to the whole of the Asia Pacific region,” Sullivan said.

TabSquare technology can personalise the entire dining experience for each customer, treating them uniquely, at scale. It has 6000 active terminals in market, serving 12 million diners annually, collecting rich customer data at every interaction, allowing the restaurant to provide a personalised dining experience. TabSquare has a number of strategic backers, including Kakaku.com and Resorts World Inc.

Speaking at this year’s Adobe Summit in Las Vegas, the Coca-Cola’s digital chief, David Godsman, said the group kicked off its digital transformation 12 months ago, with the ambition of shifting a traditional bricks-and-mortar player to a digital leader in five years. 

“But we are facing a new world – a digital world,” he said. “This is a world that is somewhat unknown to us. It’s one where we need to learn more about consumers, understand their preferences and behaviours. It’s a world where we need to personalise, and at scale. Ultimately, it’s a world where we need to bridge the physical and physical together.”

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