A Q&A with Ordr.in co-founder and CEO David Bloom. The New York City–based company was founded in 2010 and recently raised a seed funding round led by Google Ventures.
SUB: Please explain what Ordr.in is, and the value proposition you bring to the restaurant business.
Bloom: Ordr.in has a set of tools-APIs-that turn any website, app or device into a way to order food. These APIs create new ways for customers to discover and transact with restaurants—incremental orders and exposure to customers that are very hard to reach.
SUB: Who do you consider to be your competition?
Bloom: While we don’t know anyone taking our API-driven approach to restaurant ecommerce, there is not a ton of awareness about our service. There are alternatives like affiliate relationships to virtual food courts like Eat24Hours and Delivery.com.
SUB: What differentiates Ordr.in from your competitors?
Bloom: We have an API-driven model that gives our clients the tools they need to build their own food ordering service. We don’t have a website or app where customers place orders so there is no competition between our clients and ourselves.
SUB: What’s your business model? How does Ordr.in generate revenue?
Bloom: Restaurants pay a commission for each order. Very simple pay-for-performance.
SUB: What was the inspiration behind the idea? Was there an “aha” moment, or was it longer in developing?
Bloom: No single “aha” moment, just a steady realization that the restaurant industry is fragmented, local and inefficient. In similar industries, distribution platforms turn fragmentation into organization. There was nothing like it in restaurants so my co-founder and I built it.
SUB: When was Ordr.in founded and what were the first steps you took toward establishing it?
Bloom: We started Ordr.in in early 2010 and there were four major hypotheses we thought we needed to test. The first was whether restaurants would be interested in our approach. The first thing we did was ask restaurants to join us—even before we had a demo product or any customers. When dozens signed up we realized we were on to something.
SUB: What have the biggest obstacles been so far to building the business?
Bloom: Managing and organizing menu data from so many sources is a huge challenge. Happily my co-founder Felix Sheng is responsible for this and is a total genius at it. The other challenge is that our business model is very successful in other industries. Showing people it will work in restaurants has taken time.
SUB: You recently raised a seed funding round, led by Google Ventures. How do you plan to use the funds?
Bloom: We run a very lean operation, but the funds will help us invest in product development—i.e. people who design and build software-based products.
SUB: Why was this a good time to raise outside funding?
Bloom: I think it is a good time to raise money, especially if you are credible, pursuing a big idea and have real traction. It all helps!
SUB: Do you plan to raise more funding in the near future?
Bloom: We are raising another round of funding now.
SUB: What big goals do you have for Ordr.in over the next year?
Bloom: We have a simple dashboard of five operating metrics we track. It is pinned up over my desk and I see it every day. I won’t say what is on them but the numbers are big!
Ordr.in – www.ordr.in