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With a Fresh $1M, Can Venga Help Restaurants Give Patrons a Personalized Experience?


Venga recently closed a $1 Million Series A round from VCs and Restaurateurs led by Militello Capital and including Think Food Group (Jose Andre’s restaurant group) and Big Red Ventures (Cornell University’s venture fund), among others.

Venga offers the only complete customer management system for resaurants. Their patent-pending technology links restaurants’ point-of-sale systems with reservation systems such as Open Table. This helps restaurants see what individual guests are purchasing and tap into guests’ habits and preferences. The overall goal is to help restaurateurs learn more about their guests, increase customer satisfaction, and offer more targeted email campaigns and personalized customer service.

The company was founded in 2010 by Sam von Pollaro and Winston Bao Lord. Sam is also the founder of Petals for the People, an online fresh flower subscription service which he sold to Battery Ventures. Winston is a former Executive Director of the Washington Baseball Club which helped bring Major League Baseball back to DC. He also has a background in marketing and PR.

The idea for Venga was inspired by something hotels have been doing for years. Hotel chains can track guests’ likes and dislikes to heighten their experience. They want to help restaurants catalogue customers’ preferences the same way. 

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