Cluby raises €2.9M to digitally connect restaurants and customers

Cluby is an all-in-one platform for restaurants and venues, helping manage memberships, sell digital items, offer loyalty programs, and run marketing campaigns.
Cluby raises €2.9M to digitally connect restaurants and customers

Restaurant startup Cluby raises €2.9M to enable every restaurant to connect with its customers digitally

Finnish restaurant tech startup Cluby, has raised €2.9 million in Seed funding. 

Cluby was founded in 2018 by Kalle Ek, Joel Leino, and Pekka Koskinen. It has 12 employees and has raised €3.2 million in total funding.

COVID-19 accelerated digitalisation in the restaurant industry, leading to the widespread adoption of digital tools like table booking systems, food delivery apps, and event ticket platforms. 

Many large chains, like McDonald’s or Starbucks, have also created their own apps to connect with customers. However, this approach is not cost-effective for smaller restaurants, bars, cafes, or nightclubs, which have essentially been limited to social media marketing, newsletters, or physical loyalty cards.

Cluby provides an easy-to-use and affordable platform on which restaurants and other venues can connect with customers, manage their customer registers, sell digital products like monthly subscriptions, tickets and VIP passes, offer member benefits, develop personalised loyalty programs, and create marketing campaigns to encourage repeat business. 

Everything is done in one centralised, easy-to-use app, which is also useful for restaurant customers, as they only have to download one app to connect with all their favourite bars, cafes, restaurants, and nightclubs.

According to Kalle Ek, co-founder and CEO at Cluby:

“We saw the market need for Cluby already 5 years ago, and we launched the first prototype in the summer of 2019. But then COVID hit the restaurant industry, and therefore us, really hard. 

For three years, we kept our team small and improved our product in a close relationship with hand-selected restaurants. In the beginning of 2023, we decided it was time to start scaling, and since then we’ve grown both our restaurant and our user base month-to-month.

We’re proud of what we’ve achieved with our team so far, and we’re excited to finally expand Cluby to other European countries.

In 2023, Cluby's yearly growth rate was over 5x, and over 500 restaurants in Cluby and over 100,000 users have downloaded the app. This year, Cluby will start its expansion in Europe with the aim of becoming the category leader in every market the company operates in.

Vendep Capital led the round. Cluby’s co-founder and investor Pekka Koskinen, the founder of Leadfeeder, which specialises in identifying sales leads from website visitors also participated in the funding. A couple of years ago, Leadfeeder was sold abroad in a deal worth 180 million euros. (Dealfront). Food delivery unicorn Wolt co-founder Elias Aalto also invested. 

Juha-Pekka Arala, General Partner at Vendep Capital, shared:

“We wanted to invest in Cluby particularly because of its amazing and experienced founding team with multiple serial entrepreneurs, including Pekka Koskinen, who led our portfolio company Leadfeeder to a successful exit with Dealfront. 

The second main reason is the market opportunity – there is a huge need in the restaurant industry for utilising customer data. Currently, no effective tools are available for restaurants.

The company will use the money to expand across Europe, bringing its expertise and tools to a broader audience.

Lead image: Kalle Ek, co-founder and CEO at Cluby. Photo: uncredited. 

Follow the developments in the technology world. What would you like us to deliver to you?
Your subscription registration has been successfully created.