Restaurant booking app Ruffl gets its teeth into £1 million seed found

Toptable founder Karen Hanton and former OpenTable CEO for Europe David Pritchard are contributing to a £1 million seed round for Ruffl.

On the back of its launch in London, a booking services for restaurants used on smartphones has raised its first round of growth capital.

Set up by Aaron Ross and Laurence Carver, Ruffl uses geo-location to allow people to search and book available tables at nearby restaurants.

Restaurateurs are able to use the app to update the number of tables available, as well as providing incentives such as offers or discounts. To date Ruffl has signed up 450 locations to the app, which is available on Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android platforms.

Ross, co-founder of Ruffl, says, ‘Ruffl reflects the spirit of the times – much more driven by spontaneity and the desire and willingness to experiment in a social context. It is the true bridge between the new generation customer and a powerful, yield-enhancing tool for the restaurateur.’

Joining the seed round is Karen Hanton, founder of toptable, whose other angel investments have included Quill alongside Ariadne Capital.

Hanton, who sold her company in 2010 for $55 million, is joined by David Pritchard, former European CEO for the very business which bought toptable, NASDAQ-listed OpenTable.

Hanton adds, ‘Since exiting toptable in 2010 I have had the opportunity to get involved in numerous ‘me too’ restaurant booking ventures.

‘Ruffl is by far and away the most exciting prospect I’ve seen with a truly original approach. Unlike anything currently available, Ruffl enables restaurants to re-establish full control of the booking process and ‘own’ their own inventory.’

More on seed funding deals:

According to Ruffl, all deal and discount information is only available to local diners engaging with the app and is not transferred to the internet. Restaurants do not pay a subscription, but a small commission per diner once the customer has been delivered.

In the future Ruffl is planning to expand into other sectors such as bars and clubs as well as hair and beauty.

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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Early Stage Funding