The best way I can describe Fooala, presented by CEO David Chen, is Facebook Connect meets OpenTable. They have built an open online ordering process where the order can happen contextually. I am a huge proponent of this distributed approach and inserting yourself contextually and have actually employed this in my own startup.
David says they are “selling food the right way on the Internet.” 58% of restaurant business is takeout and delivery, of which 10% comes from online orders – but only 5% of restaurants currently accept orders online. More importantly, existing closed solutions only allow orders to be taken in a single place, but traffic pales in comparison to social networks and review sites.
Fooala opens up the online ordering process, so a hungry consumer can order while on Yelp, from within the Serious Eats iPhone app, and so on. Their first partner, CollegeBite, is live today.
They are live with over 30 restaurants in Pittsburgh, and are launching pilots in Youngstown and Washington D.C. bringing the total to over 60 restaurants. They are planning to expand into specific markets with direct sales but also opening this up for online enrollment.
They will be cash flow positive by 2010 and are predicting $10m in revenue by 2011. Revenue comes from subscriptions and affiliate sales from the restaurants and are shared with the originating application who integrate the functionality through widgets or by using their API directly.
Fooala is currently looking for seed funding to expand the business.