Entrepreneur launches mobile order & pay solution

A tech entrepreneur has launched an innovative mobile order & pay start-up and in less than 2 years secured close to £9 million investment.

Wi5 is a mobile order & pay solution based in London, that enhances the guest Wi-Fi for restaurants, cafes and pubs to enable customers to seamlessly place and pay for orders directly from the Wi-Fi splash page, without the need to download an extra app.

Hospitality venues can engage their customers and generate additional revenue over their Wi-Fi network, with no barriers to entry. Other benefits from introducing the Wi5 solution include reducing queue times and increasing operational efficiency.

Wi5 has recently finalised a deal with O2, which has helped immensely with the start-up’s UK strategy, with a ready-made market of over 26 million O2 Wi-Fi users and hundreds of merchants across the UK now available to them. Access to O2 was made easier through Wi5’s involvement with Wayra, Telefonica’s start-up accelerator. Since working in concert with O2, Wi5 is now focusing on restaurants, cafés and bars, having recently secured entertainment venue, Bounce London.

Founder of Wi5, Prask Sutton said: “[Marketers] expect customers to devote 15 minutes of their life to find an app, download and interact with it, all just to get a free sample of a can of drink. The ratio of effort-versus-reward just wasn’t making sense to me. That’s when I started making a concerted effort to think of a better solution.

“I wanted to create a frictionless way for brands to interact with consumers, with no apps and no need for a certain type of device. The customer just needs to be present in a venue with their out-of-the-box device, then we’ll do the rest.”

From this idea, Prask co-founded Wi5 with former colleague Jon Clark, who became COO of Wi5.

Prask continues: “At first Jon and I put in some very long hours engineering and developing software to make our dream a reality. We were starting with events for large companies but had an appetite for scale. We reimagined the product as a Software as a Service offering and approached O2 Wi-Fi to secure a partnership with its parent company, Telefónica.”

For Prask, the future is bright. He said: “The food & beverage sector and entertainment venues are just the tip of the iceberg for Wi5. We have our sights set on many other verticals and geographies, where Wi5 can solve real problems for both businesses and their end users.

“We’re still very much UK focused, but we definitely have global aspirations.”

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