Lunchr, the French startup going after the corporate meal voucher market, has raised $34 million in venture funding.
Lunchr is going after a market that has stayed the same for decades. When companies want to cover the cost of meals for employees, they use a system of paper-based vouchers, which are distributed largely via books of coupons that employees tear off and use during the week.
The program, which has reportedly been around for 50 years in France, is now starting to expand to other countries. Lunchr claims that 30 countries now use meal voucher systems for employees; in France, the majority of those programs are paper-based. Lunchr replaces paper by offering a Mastercard card and mobile app to track purchases.
“We offer executives and employees a unique and much better solution than the paper vouchers restaurants have known for 50 years and [that] have never been rethought,” Lunchr Chief Executive Loïc Soubeyrand said in a statement. Lunchr’s workforce count currently stands at 60, but the company plans to double its staff this year.
The capital raise for Lunchr comes at a time when some venture capitalists are getting worried about the growth prospects for the global economy. As a result, VCs are urging startup companies to curb their spending and hold onto more capital. Danny Rimer, a partner at Index Ventures, told Financial Times in a recent interview that the firm is telling entrepreneurs to have 18 to 24 months of cash to weather any unforeseen situations. A year ago, the venture capitalist would have advised clients to have nine to 12 months of capital in the coffers and hold back from raising more if they could get a higher valuation down the road, but recently he has urged them to seek more cash now rather than later, even if it is at a lower valuation.