Startup Feature – Oddle
The brains behind the Oddle company
As easy as 1, 2, 3, Oddle makes online food ordering a breeze for restaurants and consumers but getting the startup off the ground took a little more effort than that.
Fresh out of school, Jonathan Lim set up a grill and salad restaurant, The Lawn. Business was good — so good that he soon found himself struggling to keep up with takeout and delivery orders. He needed an ordering system but wasn’t pleased with what he had found.
Customised solutions were too expensive. Affordable ones were woefully inadequate. Marketplaces (the likes of Deliveroo, Foodpanda and others) would be unsustainable in the long run due to per-transaction commissions.
As a restaurateur, Jonathan had a problem but, as an entrepreneur, he saw a new business opportunity. He roped in “one and a half” technies in co-founders Jeremy Lee and Pua Yong Xiang and the trio came up with Oddle.
Yong Xiang is the self-confessed “half” tech guy, having had no formal training at all. He was working a 9-to-5 job in the corporate sector when Jonathan came knocking one day.
“I’ve always wanted to do something on my own – to create something from nothing,” said Yong Xiang. Oddle gave him that opportunity.
Making the Big U-Turn
For over a year, the trio hunkered down to build an operations-friendly ordering system. They started with the F&B industry in mind, but got distracted.
“We thought it would be a good idea to expand our solution to include retail merchants in general,” shared Jeremy. That turned out to be Oddle’s first big mistake. Retailers weren’t keen at all. So the trio found themselves back at the drawing board but not dejected. They binned their prototype, took a deep breath and rebuilt the entire system with an unwavering focus on their original target segment – restaurants.
Their perseverance paid off. In March 2014, Oddle was officially launched. Today, its online ordering system serves over 1,500 restaurants in seven countries, including Maki-San, Udders, Hai Di Lao, Lady M and The Fullerton Hotel. It has opened offices in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Malaysia and grown a young, dynamic team of 60 people.
Developing a Recipe for Success
When asked about their recipe for success, the founders agree on three key ingredients — humility (“just because you love your idea doesn’t mean it’s the best”), perseverance (“you’re going to fail if you think you’re going to fail”) and adaptability (“keep your mind, and your ears, open to what the market is saying”).
Interested in Oddle? The cloud-based e-commerce platform empowers restaurants to manage delivery and takeout orders on their own online channel. Find out more at https://oddle.me.
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