WaitWell digital concierge bags CA$1.5M for growth in the US

 WaitWell digital concierge bags CA$1.5M for growth in the US

Image courtesy: WaitWell

WaitWell, a Calgary-based service optimization startup, has successfully closed CA$1.5 million in seed funding. Graphite Ventures and Accelerate Fund III led the round, while Metiquity Ventures also participated. WaitWell will use the funding to expand to the US and further enhance its digital concierge and queue management platform.

WaitWell provides digital workflow solutions, including software to manage queues and events, bookings and service workflow optimization. It operates as a digital concierge, allowing customers to join queues and manage appointments through their mobile devices from anywhere. The platform offers the flexibility of walk-ins and the convenience of scheduled appointments too.

WaitWell says that its clients benefit from streamlined workflow management, valuable service analytics, and customer journey insights. The company focuses on serving clients particularly in higher education, government, healthcare and hospitality.

“Securing this $1.5 million in Seed funding is a significant milestone for WaitWell. With the backing of Graphite Ventures and Accelerate Fund III, we are well-positioned to accelerate our growth and drive our mission of optimizing service delivery for public service organizations, higher education institutes, hospitality and private health clinics on a larger scale. The funding will enable us to expand our operations, establish strategic partnerships, and further innovate our platform to meet the evolving needs of our customers.”

Steve Vander Meulen, CEO and Co-founder of WaitWell

WaitWell claims it has gained significant traction in multiple industries and successfully implemented its platform in 380 North American locations. The company also says that it has saved its customers over 2 million hours of waiting time.

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Digital concierge market possibly witnessing tailwinds

Digital concierge or digital queue management systems has been a relatively smaller market from a venture investment perspective till now. The queue management systems market totalled to US$0.8B in 2022, and will grow to US$1.2B by 2028. Although several players exist in the market, there aren’t highly funded incumbents yet, which is a possible opportunity for WaitWell.

QLess (Series B, $10M), Timify (Series A, US$5M), Waitwhile (Series A, US$12M) and Lineberty (Seed, US$2.4M) are other major companies in this segment as per Tracxn. Qminder and Qudini are other players and have scaled to over million dollar revenues.

However, with the shortage of staff since the pandemic across service establishments, digital queue management might be seeing tailwinds. Graphite Ventures, the lead investor in the round, expressed excitement about WaitWell and hinted at the trend.

“Graphite is thrilled to work with Steve, Shannon and the WaitWell team as they solve problems that have a huge impact on our daily lives. The service industry is a major economic driver and has recently been challenged by the growing shortage of talent.”

Omi Velasco, Principal at Graphite Ventures

Graphite Ventures targets investments in startups building disruptive technologies. The firm recently participated in the US$25M Series B round of ODAIA. The VC firm also has just obtained CA$10 million from AEC to strengthen their commitment to Alberta startups.

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Waitwell aims to differentiate on multiple fronts

WaitWell claims to differentiate in the market with its focus on service excellence, customizable workflows, scalability, data privacy, and exceptional customer support. The company also offers fully tailored settings for different locations within a single account. WaitWell believes this feature allows organizations, especially those with diverse departments or multi-location businesses, to benefit from customized workflows that meet the specific needs of each location.

Moreover, WaitWell offers US and Canadian data residency options to cater to different clients’ specific requirements. Finally, the company says its support team is fluent in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese, allowing its customers wider assistance.

Shannon and Steve Vander Meulen founded WaitWell in early 2020, just after pandemic hit. They did a beta launch of the product in summer 2020. By mid 2021, the company had already landed Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), the University of Manitoba, and Calgary Stampede as clients.

Prior to this round, WaitWell raised CA$1M seed in September 2022, adding Metiquity as a new investor. Before that, it had closed a CA$300K pre-seed from Startup TNT in November 2021.


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