June 20, 2024, Salt Lake City, Utah

Ovation today announced the closure of a Series A round, bringing total funding to $9 million. Led by TIA Ventures (New York), the investment will enable Ovation to continue developing even more powerful tools for multi-unit operators looking to connect with guests and improve.

Other investors in this round include continued support from Summit Capital, Peak Ventures (Provo, UT), OneValley (San Mateo, CA), Tenzing Capital (Wichita, KS), Rocky Woods Investments, Next Chapter Ventures, and prior angels.

New investors include Jim Mizes, Jason Syversen, Tammy K. Billings, Erle Dardick, Christopher Sebes, AMARC Holdings, and Carin Stutz. York IE will continue to serve on the Board.

Previously, in May 2023, the company announced it had closed a $4 million Series A investment that was led by York IE (Manchester, NH) and TIA Ventures (New York). Other investors, many of which are listed above as well, included Summit Capital, Peak Capital (Provo, UT), OneValley (San Mateo, CA), Tenzing Capital (Wichita, KS), Greg Golkin of Kitchen Fund (New York), Fred LeFranc (Charlotte, NC), Gregg Majewski of Craveworthy Brands (Chicago area), and Deric Rosenbaum of Groucho’s Deli (Colombia, SC).

Zach Oates, Founder and CEO, Ovation

“I’m excited to welcome new investors into the Ovation Nation and thrilled at the amount of continued support from former investors," said Zack Oates, CEO of Ovation. "It is the result of an incredible team building incredible value and I’m so grateful for the ability we have to do even more!”

“Consumers work so hard for their dollars. They then spend their money at establishments trusting they will deliver great experiences. When that doesn’t happen it is disappointing, and even more frustrating when it feels like the brand doesn’t care," said Wills Hapworth, General Partner at TIA Ventures.

Wills Hapworth, General Partner, TIA Ventures

He continued, "At the same time, we know it is really tough to run a great business that delivers flawless service all the time. Ovation solves this complicated problem, giving brands real-time eyes and ears into the consumer’s experience to make improvements and build loyal customers for life. Most importantly, it makes life better for everyone. This is why we are so excited about a future with Ovation everywhere.”

After ordering online or scanning a QR code in-store, guests are sent a text or directed to the platform where they are asked two simple survey questions about their most recent visit using a scale of five emojis. Those who indicate a positive experience are prompted to leave a Google review, buy merchandise, or engage further, while guests with negative responses are asked to share more details, enabling operators to respond in real time with AI technologies to resolve issues immediately.

The new capital will be used to strengthen the Ovation platform, expand Ovation’s market presence, and enhance customer support capabilities. With the additional resources, Ovation plans to introduce new features that will further simplify the feedback process and provide deeper insights for restaurant operators.

Among these new features is the recently released Automated Responses tool, which allows artificial intelligence to respond to Ovation feedback, acknowledging guests without taking up staff time. This tool is designed to ensure no guest falls through the cracks by providing a customizable response strategy depending on guest ratings, delay times, and custom response templates.

As Ovation continues to grow, the company remains committed to helping restaurants of all sizes improve their guest experience and operational efficiency. With the ongoing support of its investors and clients, Ovation is poised to lead the way in transforming how restaurants interact with their guests.

Founded in 2017, Ovation is a Salt Lake City-based software company that has developed an actionable guest feedback platform that it says increases revenue for multi-unit restaurants. The platform uses a two-question SMS-based survey as a “digital table touch” that has simplified guest feedback.

Ovation’s platform helps thousands of restaurants, including Friendly’s, PDQ, Mo’ Bettahs, MOOYAH, and Big Chicken, get more feedback through frictionless surveys, improve operations through AI-driven insights, recover guests through real-time communication, and boost online reputation. Using the Ovation mobile app, restaurants can save customer profiles, build relationships with customers, resolve customer concerns in real-time, receive more reviews, discover insights to improve, and ultimately drive greater revenue.

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