Livebookings Raises $16 Million

Livebookings Ltd., a UK-based online network for restaurant reservations and marketing, has raised $16 million in new VC funding. Wellington Partners led the round, and was joined by return backers like Balderton Capital. The company previously raised over $12 million.

PRESS RELEASE

Livebookings, with customers, partners and employees in 19 countries is Europe’s largest online marketing and reservations service for the restaurant industry. Today the company announces the closure of a financing round of $16 million led by pan-European venture capital firm Wellington Partners and backed by existing investors.

The investment will lead to Livebookings strengthening and expanding its position as Europe’s largest online marketing network for restaurants and continue the development of the Livebookings Network, offering extensive reach through its affiliate partner websites. Wellington Partners’ investment follows some $12 million from Balderton Capital and other investors during 2008 – 2009.

Currently one of the fastest growing media companies in Europe, and selected as one of the Guardian’s Media Tech Top 100 companies in the UK, Livebookings provides restaurateurs access to customers that would otherwise be difficult to reach through leading global network properties such as Bookatable.com, lastminute.com and Yell.com. The company also works with restaurants such as Gordon Ramsay Holdings, The Ivy and its other Caprice Holdings Restaurants, Tantris, East, Grill, Mathias Dahlgren Matbaren, Mavrommatis and Pedro Larumbe to enable them to secure table reservations online.

Niklas Eklund, Chief Executive Officer for Livebookings says: “Livebookings has grown aggressively since day one and we’re now at a point where we see a fantastic opportunity for further managed but rapid growth supported with further investment. Despite the recession, recent figures show the number of new restaurants now using online reservations to fill their tables has risen by 91% this summer compared to last. However we estimate only 7% of restaurants currently use online reservations, showing us the enormous growth potential in our chosen market.”

Daniel Waterhouse, Partner for Wellington Partners, comments: “Livebookings is already the largest European player in their market and we are excited to back the experienced management team as they look to further accelerate its tremendous growth in Europe and beyond. As consumers increasingly search online for places to eat, restaurants all over the continent are starting to take advantage of the unique marketing channel the internet provides. Thanks to its technology edge and restaurant-friendly approach Livebookings is well positioned to bring its services to many more restaurants in a short time.”

Wellington Partners is one of the most successful pan-European venture capital firms. Currently working with digital media companies such as Adconion, Enqii, Qype, and Xing, its speciality is supporting young and developing companies to grow internationally and maximise their potential.

EOC Partners LLP (EOCP) acted as the investment banking advisor (Financial) in the transaction and Lewis Silkin, (Legal) for Livebookings. Thies Eggers (Financial) and Mark A. Dorff, Brown Rudnick LLP (Legal) were advisors to Wellington Partners.

About Livebookings
Headquartered in London, with offices in Hamburg, Stockholm and Madrid and customers in 19 countries, Livebookings is Europe’s largest online marketing and reservations service for the restaurant industry. The company is ranked as one of the top 30 fastest growing digital media companies in Europe and selected as one of the Guardian’s Media Tech Top 100 companies in the UK.

Livebookings enables free real-time, online reservations on restaurant websites and help restaurants to access customers that would otherwise be difficult to reach. The Livebookings Network consists of over 500 local, national and international websites like lastminute.com, Ticketmaster, Yell.com and new websites such as Bookatable.com which collectively, reach over 200 million potential diners

In 2008 alone, Livebookings delivered over 2.4 million diners to restaurants worldwide including Gordon Ramsay Holdings, The Ivy, Carluccio’s, Chez Gerard and The Ritz. During the first six months of 2009, Livebookings has via its network and its real time booking service, already delivered more guests than last year.

For more information please visit www.livebookings.co.uk

About Wellington Partners

Wellington Partners is one of the most successful pan-European venture capital firms. With some € 800 million under management and offices in London, Munich, Palo Alto and Zurich, the firm invests into companies throughout Europe that have the potential to become global leaders, in the areas of Digital Media, Cleantech, Electronics, Software and Life Sciences.

Since 1998, Wellington Partners has invested in more than 100 companies in Europe and Israel, including now publicly traded Actelion and XING and successful privately held companies like Alando (acquired by eBay), Ciao (acquired by Microsoft) and ImmobilienScout24 (acquired by Deutsche Telekom). For more information please visit www.wellington-partners.com.