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30 August 2012

Carnegie Mellon queues with NoWait

Carnegie Mellon University backs NoWait, set up by alumnus Robb Myer, in a $2m round.

Author: Gregg Bayes-Brown, editor

NoWait, the waiting-list management app developer, has closed a $2m series A round led by Birchmere Ventures with participation from Carnegie Mellon University. The round was also joined by Sand Hill Angels.

The Pittsburgh-based company's total venture funding raised in its history is now $2.025m. The company previously received $25k seed funding from accelerator AlphaLab, a programme run by seed-stage investor Innovation Works in June 2010.

In June 2012, NoWait received a $50k grant from CMU as part of the university's Open Field Entrepreneurship Fund. The firm also received mentorship as part of the deal in exchange for a 5% stake in NoWait.

As part of the round, Sean Ammirati, partner at Birchmere and adjunct professor at CMU will be stepping up from an advisor role to the company's board of directors.

NoWait has developed an app that cuts waiting time in restaurant queues by allowing customers to book through iOS compatible devices. Since leaving AlphaLab in late 2010, NoWait has seated over four million customers around the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico in restaurants such as TGI Fridays. The firm intends to use their funding to expand their partnerships with big-chain restaurants.

"We believe NoWait is perfectly positioned to serve up much-needed innovation when it comes to seating management without friction or frustration. They have the undisputed best tool to displace proprietary, expensive pager hardware with the elegance of an iOS App," said Ammirati. "With this round of funding, they can bring tablet-as-a-service to thousands of new restaurants across North America."

NoWait CEO and CMU alumnus Robb Myer added: "NoWait solves an enormous problem busy restaurant management face every day: long queues that clog front of house and lead to potential lost sales. With NoWait, we are revolutionizing the way patrons wait and are seated at casual dining, no-reservation restaurants."


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