UAE’s Spades Dine-in Payment Fintech Acquires $2.5M for Expansion Across MENA Region

There’s no denying that the Middle East is “growing fast” and its restaurant scene is growing “even faster,” according to an update shared with CI.

Dining in the UAE means “exploring one of the most diverse, vibrant, and delicious food destinations on the planet.”

Restaurants are increasingly turning to Spades (the company claims) “to keep up with dynamic demand, while providing a seamless checkout experience for dine-in customers to pay their bill.”

Spades was founded by Mehdi Chraibi, Adnan Haque, and Sameer Poonja after successful careers “building digital products used by millions of users at VISA, Emirates Airline, Oracle, Millicom and Rocket Internet.”

The team is reportedly “backed by executives with leadership roles at global Payment Service Providers (Adyen, VISA & MasterCard), Cloud Kitchens and multiple Hospitality Houses in the Middle East.”

Their oversubscribed angel round of $2.5M also “included prominent European business angels, such as Thibaud Elzière (Founder, Fotolia & eFounders), Eduardo Ronzano (Founder, KelDoc & Managing Partner, Secret Fund), and Yan Hascoet, Othmane Bouhlal, Omar Benmoussa – the Founders of Chauffeur Privé – Kapten (acquired by Free Now), which was closed with early investments from global & regional VCs such as Nordstar and Impact46.”

The Fintech payment startup has already signed more than 150 restaurants “in its first 12 weeks and launched with major brands in UAE such as NOLA, Couqley, Alaca, and The Sum of Us.”

The company claims that it is “growing fast and recruiting multiple roles across the board this year to cope with its expansion in the GCC and beyond.”

Spades allows guests to easily “pay their bill by scanning a code or tapping to pay, without any downloads or registration, translating into shorter wait times.”

Trustworthy, and reliable, the platform “provides the fastest and most secure payment solution that integrates seamlessly into all major POS systems, making refunds and reconciliation just a click away.”

While other like-minded rival technologies create a disconnect between customers and restaurants, Spades has “a human-centric approach that increases engagement throughout.”

Partner restaurants have already reported “doubling their staff tips, turning tables faster, saving trees and improving guest service.”

With a solution that caters to both restaurants and customers, Spades “is set to revolutionize F&B in the region with just a quick scan and a couple of taps.”

Co-founder of Spades, Adnan Haque said:

“With Spades, we have created a seamless payment portal that is fast, secure, and convenient. Our goal is to give back time to customers and restaurants, and create a perfect “phy-gital” harmony that helps achieve an exceptional dine-in experience.”

Investment Associate at Impact46, Saud Alsahaf  stated:

“F&B is an important industry in the local market, and Spades is offering a powerful digital solution to improve the experience for all stakeholders in the value chain. We look forward to making Spades the standard for restaurant payment.”

Co-founder and Managing Director of NOLA Social House & Eatery, Alex Economides said,

“Since starting with Spades we’ve noticed our staff having more time to engage with guests at the end of their dine-in visit. Rather than running around at peak hours printing bills and collecting payments. Exceptional service has always been one of the WOW factors at Nola, so with Spades’ efficient and convenient payment method we see a perfect fit.”

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