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Technology

Snackpass acquires line-skipping app Sleek

The mobile ordering provider will incorporate parts of Sleek's technology into its own system.
Snackpass and Sleek logo
Image courtesy of Snackpass

Snackpass, the mobile ordering app popular with college students, is acquiring a service that allows customers to skip long lines.

San Francisco-based Sleek got its start at festivals, where it offers people the option to bypass food lines in exchange for a fee that is calculated by its technology. It's also used by stadiums, bakeries and food trucks.

Snackpass does not have immediate plans to implement Sleek's "priority lane" feature at restaurants, it said in an email. But it will become the online ordering system at the hundreds of festivals and other businesses that use Sleek. It will also incorporate the part of Sleek's technology that calculates wait times, allowing its restaurants to provide more accurate estimates of when a customer's food will be ready.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. It's the first acquisition for Snackpass, which raised $70 million in a Series B round in June.

Snackpass said it saw synergy between the companies' goals to create a cashierless, line-free future for restaurants. It also admired Sleek's engineering and tech talent.

Sleek's "deep learning" software uses a variety of factors, from POS data to security camera feeds, to calculate both wait times and the price customers are likely willing to pay to avoid them. The feature can be added to other apps with a single line of code, the company said. Uber and Instacart use similar technology. 

Snackpass is an order-ahead app that is focused on pickup. Restaurants can use it to power their online ordering as well as marketing and loyalty programs. It also has a unique social feature that allows users to see what their friends are ordering as well as gift meal credits to friends.

Though it began on college campuses, Snackpass has used its recent funding to expand to big cities. It now has agreements with restaurants in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, and has seen sales triple since it began branching out, it said.

The company also has a deal with bubble tea chain Moge Tee that will bring its technology to nearly 100 locations over the next four to six months.

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