South Korean food-tech startup Last Order is looking to expand aggressively in Korea with its app that provides lists of discounted dishes that would otherwise have gone to waste.
Last Order users place orders and choose the time they wish to visit restaurants to pick up the dishes. In Gangseo-gu, the westernmost district of Seoul, they can get these dishes delivered, but in other parts of Seoul, they have to make the trip themselves.
Last Order CEO Oh Kyung-seok
Son Ji-hyoung/The Investor
“Two months ago, we started providing our services to all parts of Seoul. We plan on expanding into Gyeonggi Province by the end of this year, as fast-expansion is crucial for our business,” Last Order CEO Oh Kyung-seok said during an interview with The Investor.
He added that it is important to be a first mover because the amount of uneaten food per store or restaurant is limited.
In the next three years, the CEO hopes to sign partnership deals with over 75,000 restaurants and cafes here. Last Order has so far teamed up with more than 1,400 restaurants and cafes in Seoul. Currently, it has more than 30,000 users, with over 65 percent having used the service more than once.
Oh also said he is meeting with operators of convenience stores and department stores to start branching out in Seoul’s business-to-business sector.
“We are in talks with three convenience store operators at the moment -- CU, GS25 and 7-Eleven.”
The CEO launched Last Order in April 2018 after experiencing a similar service, Too Good To Go, in Europe.
“I had a chance to see what this was about while I was on a business trip, and found out Korea doesn’t have anything like it,” he said. The app was officially launched in November 2018.
“When we were first trying to receive funds, I drew upon the data we collected from operating the pilot version of our service in Gwanak-gu, southwestern Seoul. I think together with a solid business plan, we were able to convince the investors, and now they understand our business model well. Our investors even asked us to focus on building up with free services,” Oh said.
The company has secured 3 billion won ($2.53 million) from investors, including Sopoong, Lotte Accelerator and DS Asset management. Oh said it will start charging clients from the end of the year.
The CEO highlighted the importance of technology, calling Last Order a food-tech startup. “We had a tough time launching because none of our founding members had knowledge in app development. So we had to outsource it, causing the launch to take around eight months,” he said.
Last Order has since hired six app developers. “In the end, technology is one of the most crucial factors in building a company,” he said.
By Song Seung-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org