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Chope Group expands into Indonesia

Asia’s largest online booking service, Singapore’s Chope Group, has acquired its Indonesian equivalent, MakanLuar.

Chope, which has reserved seats for more than 20 million diners, adds Jakarta, Bali and Bandung to its system with the move. It now spans eight cities and 1300 clients, and comes just eight months after Chope announced an S$11 million (US$8.15 million) funds boost led by NSI Ventures, the venture capital wing of Indonesia-focused private equity group Northstar.

Chope (Singaporean slang for “reserve”) was launched in 2011 and already has a presence in Bangkok, Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

Its acquisition of Singapore-based queueing service Ticktok in 2014 further expanded its service offerings.

MakanLuar (Indonesian for “eating out”) was launched in November 2013 by Jakarta natives and former Bloomberg colleagues Kunal Narang and Hiro Mohinani. It was among the first-movers in Jakarta before rapidly expanding into Bali and Bandung. It sat nearly 100,000 diners last year.

MakanLuar equips each dining establishment with a backend platform for accurate real-time inventory while users make free, instantly confirmed online reservations at restaurants.

In congestion-prone Jakarta, where patrons want a guaranteed table before making the trip to the restaurant, the service has been a hit. The number of users continues increasing by the thousands, drawn by loyalty points and the ability to share their experiences on Makanluar.com.

“As a localised service with a loyal following, we look forward to offering restaurants in Indonesia our new reach to Chope’s extensive user base in Asia,” says Narang.

“At the same time, millions of Indonesian diners will be able to get seats at their favourite restaurants in Singapore and abroad, through a familiar service they also have at home,” says Mohinani.

The acquisition will keep Narang and Mohinani in the driver’s seat and arm them with resources from Chope to accelerate MakanLuar’s growth.

“MakanLuar already had impressive traction,” says Chope CEO Arrif Ziaudeen, “and we saw obvious opportunities to further increase their aggression with our technology, marketing and support.”

For example, Chope’s Android and iOS apps will fit perfectly into MakanLuar’s mobile strategy, says Ziaudeen, while MakanLuar’s restaurant clients would benefit from fuller features like queues and phone management via an iPad-based dashboard, courtesy of another acquisition, Appic Technologies.

While MakanLuar’s name will stay for now, the eventual aim is to have a seamless experience across all eight cities.

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