Tapingo: A Vision for Commerce
Tapingo is an online and mobile food ordering service founded in 2010, helping consumers find and order local food from their phones. Through Tapingo’s website or mobile app, customers browse restaurants nearby, customize their orders, and pay. The order will then either be delivered or ready when the customer arrives at the restaurant. However, despite the company’s startup focus on food services, they hope to expand into a complete mobile shopping platform, making mobile commerce more mainstream. The company is currently headquartered in San Francisco and Tel Aviv, and it is funded by Khosla Ventures and Carmel Ventures. However, Tapingo has received over $36 million in venture capital. The company processes more than 25,000 transactions per day, and average users make four transactions per week.
The online food ordering industry has expanded to encompass many companies, including GrubHub, Eat24, OrderAhead, and Delivery Hero. However, what differentiates Tapingo is their focus on mobile, location recognition and machine learning customer preference over time to make contextualized recommendations. Convenient mobile payment also attracts customers to Tapingo. A company with a similar vision for easy payment is Clinkle, which aims to replace physical wallets. However, what will determine the success of companies such as Tapingo and Clinkle is the expansion of the merchant and customer network, to ensure that there are both adequate users and suppliers through the platform.
Tapingo is currently available on more than 125 college campuses, including major universities such as New York University and the University of Southern California. For college students, who are often in a rush, Tapingo has potential to become a household name, especially for campuses with many food options. The average campus coffee shop will process 300-500 order through Tapingo every day.
On college campuses, Tapingo differentiates itself from competitors such as GrubHub in that the delivery services are entirely student staffed, work for on or off-campus dining options, and students are able to use campus meal dollars to pay. Because of the condensed campus area, student couriers are more efficient and are able to deliver 3-4 orders per hour. Like Uber drivers, Tapingo students may be on their way to pick up their own meal when they accept a request to deliver another student’s meal as well. Scheduled orders also allow students to order 36 hours in advance. However, Tapingo faces congestion issues and is still working on prioritization for each merchant’s queue, depending on the time it takes to prepare. However, Tapingo hopes to expand towards commercial business and large city centers as well, where working people may not have the time to wait in busy lines for meals.
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Author: Johnny Ramper