by Indra Kishinchand López
In its quest for growth and prominence in the Spanish hospitality sector over the next 24 months, Foodcoin, a revolutionary loyalty and customer attraction system, has initiated its third investment round. The primary focus of this round is to attract restaurants and, consequently, expand its user base.
A Global Vision and Entrepreneurial Tenacity: According to Ricardo Marín, CEO of Foodcoin, the project is highly scalable on a global level, a characteristic that resonates well. Drawing on their accumulated experience, Marín acknowledges the challenges of raising capital at various startup stages, emphasizing the significance of past investments. He states, “We know how challenging it is to raise capital at each stage of a startup; we’ve experienced it more than anyone. Pascual Innoventures’ investment in the previous round is gold for us. After two years of preparing for the launch, we finally have all costs under control, poised to potentially become a unicorn.”
Choosing an Alternative Growth Approach: Marín elaborates on the well-known risks associated with creating a startup, particularly in the technology sector, where the failure rate often exceeds 80-90% within the first two years. He explains their unique approach: “I give you a slice of the pie, which could be substantial, but you have to be willing to take risks with me. My role involves dedicating my life to nurturing and enhancing the project.”
The Hospitality Bank Concept: Currently, Foodcoin aims to assist bars, restaurants, chains, and entertainment venues in fostering customer loyalty and acquisition. Users, with just two clicks, can pay with a VISA that generates cashback on each visit, usable within the Foodcoin ecosystem. Marín emphasizes that a good loyalty system should ideally increase sales by 10-15%, drawing inspiration from successful models in gas stations and supermarkets.
He highlights the success of Waylet and Club Carrefour, indicating that Foodcoin’s model ensures restaurants only stand to gain without having to invest extensively in developing their own apps or systems. The goal is to create a unified app and VISA system for the entire hospitality sector.
2024: A Year of Growth and Innovation: Following the official app launch in September 2023, Foodcoin anticipates ending 2024 with over 1,500 restaurants, more than 30,000 users, and transactions exceeding 3 million euros through their VISA. Marín expresses enthusiasm, stating they are prepared to go all-in, despite challenges in startup investment and ongoing technological learning curves. The expectation is that as more restaurants join, users will follow, emphasizing the need to ensure a gratifying user experience.
Becoming the “Hospitality Bank” and Landing in LATAM: Recently unveiling its vision to become the “Banco de la Hostelería” (Hospitality Bank), Foodcoin draws inspiration from success stories like Starbucks. Marín envisions a future where Foodcoin becomes a significant financial entity within the hospitality sector. The company has also ventured into Latin America, securing an agreement with a prominent hospitality family in Ecuador and aligning with 15 major restaurant chains in Spain.
As Foodcoin embarks on uncharted territories, the third investment round marks a significant chapter in its culinary journey. With innovation at its core, Foodcoin is not just a startup; it’s a culinary adventure, ready to leave its mark on the hospitality landscape. The journey continues, promising exciting twists and turns, and Foodcoin remains poised for success. Bon appétit to new beginnings!