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Lightbank leads USD4m investment in E la Carte

E la Carte, the maker of Presto, a customer-facing tableside tablet for restaurant and related hospitality industries, has closed a USD4 million outside venture capital round from Lightbank, the technology investment fund created by Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell.

E la Carte deploys the Presto on restaurant tables so that guests can order, play games and pay from their seats without having to wait. Unlike other tablets on the market, Presto has a full-day battery life, a credit card reader and can sit comfortably and naturally on restaurant tables. Presto tablets are also more durable than the iPad as they are ‘ruggedised’ for restaurant use.

Founded in 2008, E la Carte allows restaurants to capitalise on diners’ impulses, and has signed up close to 100 eateries with a waiting list of another 150. Early E la Carte-installed restaurants have enjoyed a sales increase of nearly 12 per cent with national chain customers like Pizzeria Venti and Umami Burger already on board.

"The E la Carte Presto tablet will revolutionise the way guests experience restaurants," says Jason Stuller, IT Director of VentiCorp, a national chain that will be rolling out the E la Carte system to their Pizzeria Venti operations this year. "We looked at other products, and chose E la Carte because they had a more advanced feature set; they effectively plugged the gaps in guest service and boosted impulse sales and staff productivity."

Lightbank is leading the major funding round and will bring additional sales and support that will allow the product to quickly evolve and cultivate nationally.
"This team from MIT embraces the exact type of product innovation we are seeking to partner with," says Paul Lee, Partner at Lightbank. "E la Carte is already receiving rave reviews so we are excited for an opportunity to help scale their commercialisation."

E la Carte is a Y Combinator company that received a seed investment in April from SV Angel and the creators of revolutionary products like Dropbox, Reddit and Farmville. The company also recieved investment from Skip Sack, a former board member and SVP at Applebee’s, as well as several other top restaurant executives.

"Our new technology is now more cost-effective than ever at less than USD20 per month," said Rajat Suri, Founder of E la Carte. "As a company on the verge of rapid growth, wesaysare receiving a great deal of interest and thanks to a new partnership with Lightbank we are able to scale quickly to meet that high-demand."

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