CATERING

Hong Kong start-up Caterspot targets corporate catering and party food delivery in food-loving city

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 April, 2016, 12:57am
UPDATED : Friday, 22 April, 2016, 12:57am

Hong Kong start-up Caterspot aims to provide an online ordering platform that simplifies corporate catering and party food delivery for junk trips after raising fresh funding from investors.

Founded in January as a business-to-business operation, Caterspot is mainly targeting its service to companies in Hong Kong and Singapore.

Caterspot co-founder Camilo Paredes said he was inspired to streamline catering ordering in Hong Kong after he found the process of arranging party food for events for his previous dating start-up Grouvly as time-consuming and complex.

“We realised that catering was largely offline and a tedious process,” Paredes said. “But it won’t be like that in the next five years. So we are coming to get the catering industry to develop to the next level in terms of technology.”

The start-up announced earlier this week that it had raised US$800,000 from Singapore-based Triplestar Capital and Swiss Founders Fund.

Paredes estimated the market for corporate catering in Singapore and Hong Kong to be worth US$250 million each year.

Caterspot places caterers and restaurants with catering menus on an online platform where office managers can order food for meetings or events in one place, without having to call around for quotes.

A Colombian national, Paredes was food delivery company foodpanda’s first employee in Latin America as that Rocket Internet-backed start-up introduced its service to the continent in 2012.

He said that experience, coupled with that of co-founder Canadian Amanda Ernst, who was chief operating officer of Hellofood in Latin America, gives Caterspot a strong understanding of the growing food technology market.

While Paredes acknowledged that competition in the business-to-consumer food delivery market in Hong Kong is hot after foodpanda and London-based Deliveroo’s work to encourage more people to order their takeout online, Paredes said corporate catering was a different model.

Unlike foodpanda or Deliveroo which work on an on-demand model, Paredes said the issue of logistics is simpler for Caterspot as orders are made well in advance. That also means the company is already able to cover the whole of Hong Kong island.

Last month, foodpanda acquired the Hong Kong business of Delivery.com, which had offered corporate catering, groceries and individual takeout orders.

Paredes said the office catering model has been proven in the United States by ZeroCater and ezCater, which has served more than 9 million customers since it was founded in 2007.

Caterspot has so far signed up more than 200 caterers and restaurants to its platform in Hong Kong and Singapore.

The start-up plans to start expansion by the end of the year and is examining other markets, including Japan, Malaysia, South Korea and Taiwan, Paredes said.