When Nic Gray founded his startup, Hyprloco, he bet that quick-service restaurants were hungry for a system to help them manage takeout orders. Turns out, he says, they were starving.
“We initially didn’t understand how big of an opportunity was before us,” Gray said.
To take a bigger bite of the market, Hyprloco, whose software notifies a restaurant as a takeout customer drives or walks to collect their orders, has opened a funding round for $750,000. It aims to scale from about 2,000 restaurant locations currently using Hyprloco to 40,000 restaurants.
The business disclosed in an SEC filing Nov. 8 that it has raised $500,000 so far.
The round brings the company’s total venture funding to a total of $2 million, by Gray’s tally, and includes existing investors Pallasite Ventures, which is based in Vancouver, Canada.
Gray said Hyprloco is hoping to build out the functions it would need to sell customers not just software, but the data they collect about restaurants and restaurant-goers.
So the business is primarily using its raise to hire software engineers, Gray said. It has added three so far and is planning to hire as many as five more by mid-January. It currently has 17 people working as contractors or full-time employees.
Gray declined to quote sales figure from last year, but said Hyprloco expects to break even by March 2017.
This is how Hyprloco works: After a restaurant customer places an order (over the phone, online or on a mobile device), Hyprloco starts keeping tabs on the customer’s location. To do that, it uses WiFi, satellites, Bluetooth and optical technology to locate the customer’s phone.
Hyprloco then sends restaurant employees updates on the customer’s location: a notification when the customer is five minutes away, another as she approaches the parking lot and a third as she opts for the drive-through window, parks at the curb or steps up to the counter.
Hyprloco can locate its customers so precisely, Gray said, that it can tell which customer is next in line at a drive through window.
Gray said the startup currently works with different pricing schemes depending on each customer’s preferences. Restaurant chains can pay by the sales transaction, by a flat monthly fee or by a contract that covers a year or more.
Currently Hyprloco rents 3,000 square feet at 14th and Wazee, but Gray said it’s eyeing a slightly larger space on the 16th Street Mall.
Gray, Hyprloco’s CEO, is a U.S. Army veteran. The company’s chief technology officer, Damon Baker, served in the Marine Corps.