Seattle startup aims to put peanut-tossing vendors out of business with in-seat stadium delivery platform – GeekWire


From left: Chief Revenue Officer Jake Stone; CTO Jim Castillo; General Manager Jonathan Massey; and CEO and co-founder Thomas Lapham. (Czech photo)

If this Seattle startup gets its way, vendors dropping peanuts at sports games should find new jobs.

Check, which has just raised $8 million, will sell its ordering and delivery platform to stadiums and restaurants. Now, customers at some stadiums can use the app to have an item delivered to their seat.

The 47-person company was founded by Thomas Lapham, former CEO and board advisor of Asia Clean Capital, a solar panel developer in China. He is joined by CTO Jim Castillo, former head of software engineering at OpenTable; Chief Revenue Officer Jake Stone, who previously served as CRO at Independent Sports & Entertainment; and chief business officer Jonathan Massey, founder of Evolutu, a London-based startup that customizes luxury cars.

Check is driving sales for suppliers while shortening customer wait times. The startup offers an app for pre-orders and delivery enquiries, as well as a point of sale app. Check offers a Venmo-like feature that allows customers to “gift” an item to another user. A person watching the game at home can, for example, buy a beer for a colleague at the game.

The company is currently in six sports stadiums, including the Miami Dolphins and the University of Washington. It also works with nearly 100 restaurants. Meanwhile, the app has more than 100,000 monthly active users.

Bringing tech ordering to stadiums and restaurants isn’t a new concept. In the year In 2013, startups Bypass, SnagMobile and Yorder aimed to bring sports gaming into the seat. In the year But in 2015, two out of three startups failed, Fortune reported. It became the exclusive Bypass Clover Sport. The company currently sells custom hardware to the Miami Heat, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and University of Alabama, among others.

Big players also tried to break the stadium food ban. Also In 2013, the New York Yankees partnered with MasterCard QkR to offer seating in select zones. Postmates partnered with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Yankees to allow pre-ordering.

In the restaurant space, Check goes up against established POS system providers such as Square, Toast and Clover.

Lapham Check can differentiate itself because customers are drawn to the app’s user experience and social aspects, while vendors prefer the company’s subscription pricing model.

Asked how the startup plans to compete with Amazon’s outlet technology, which is currently being used by the Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Mariners, Lapham said he’s “friendly.” He said the main purpose of checkout technology is to drive efficiency, not sales, and Cheque reaches customers directly from their phones.

The seed round comes after the company raised $5.4 million last year. It was led by Westriver Group Technology Fund, with participation from Harvard Yard Ventures among other investors. The company did not disclose the current price.





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