How many times have you gone out to eat, all good, and then you waited forever for the waiter to come around with the check?
Good news! Cover is a mobile payments startup that allows restaurant patrons to pay for their meals without ever seeing a check or swiping a credit card. Cover automatically splits the bill and handles the tip, so you can focus on enjoying your meal, and when you’re finished, you’re done!
More good news: they’re live in New York and San Francisco and growing rapidly, thanks to a $5.5 million Series A, led by Spark Capital, that should help them to bring even more restaurants to the table. Co-founder Andrew Cove dishes the details.
What was the funding process like?
It took a few months, forced us to take an objective look at ourselves, and made us a better company. Aside from the actual money, that’s what you hope to get out of the process. Smart people ask you hard questions and you come out better for it.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
Fundraising is a full-time job. It’s cliche, but we felt it. We had one founder focused on our San Francisco launch, and the other on fundraising, and suddenly we were down two contributors day to day.
Everybody on the team had to step up to make sure we didn’t drop too many balls.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
Our team and our ability to partner with top-tier restaurants.
A good product and enormous potential market are prerequisites for any startup. Investors look for signs that we’ll achieve our goals – the first sign is that we’ve put together an awesome team of builders and sellers, and the second is that we have unmatched traction with top restaurants, and the momentum to add many, many more.
What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
If you need capital, figure out how investors are going to measure you and then focus your strategy and execution on nailing those metrics. If you don’t need capital, take the biggest swing you can.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
We’re focusing on New York and San Francisco, making Cover a daily part of dining out. We’re also going to double our team, which allows us to experiment with new directions for the product.
What’s your favorite New York dining spot?
It changes constantly, but right now all I want is dell’anima.