HMB congratulates Science on Call on the closing of its $1.6 million in pre-seed funding. The Chicago startup will use the new funding to keep restaurants up and running by helping with outages, glitches and other tech challenges.
Founded by Andy Freivogel, Luisa Castellanos and Ken Tsang, Science on Call offers a subscription-based tech support platform for restaurants. It lets restaurants quickly connect with IT help through a text message, phone call or a scan of a QR code. The startup’s IT help can assist with issues regarding point-of-sale systems, internet, third-party ordering services and other tech needs.
Freivogel said as restaurants began incorporating new technologies to keep revenue coming in during the Covid-19 pandemic, Science on Call’s services became more important than ever. "Our platform became a necessity almost overnight," he said. "When our internet isn’t working at home, we can go sit in a Panera if we want to. When a restaurant’s internet service stops working, they’re losing money immediately." With a greater percentage of restaurant revenue shifting online and to third-party apps, any system downtime means lost revenue for an industry that already operates on tight margins.
Since landing its first customer in June of 2020, Science on Call now works with 45 different restaurant brands across 125 locations. The startup provides tech support for national chains like Popeye’s as well as local Chicago restaurants like Tavern on Rush and Al's #1 Italian Beef.
"Founders tend to be very DIY about some things, " Freivogel said. "But in this case, we had two challenges: making sure we got the legal aspect of this right, but just as importantly, understanding what would change about our equity and control of the company. Jim and Payal provided not only efficient execution, but also, real-world advice that helped us figure out how to move forward and make this happen."
Congratulations to co-founders Andy Freivogel, Luisa Castellanos and Ken Tsang and the rest of the Science on Call team!