Wellington invests US$16m

VC house Wellington Partners has led the US$16m funding in restaurant marketing and reservations service Livebookings.

The investment round follows a cash injection of US$12m made by Balderton Capital and other existing investors during 2008 and 2009. Livebookings will use the latest funding to expand its European reach of restaurants and networks like Bookatable.com, lastminute.com and Yell.com.

CEO of Livebookings, Niklas Eklund, claims that the venture has “enormous growth potential” as the number of new restaurants using online reservations has risen by 91% in the last year. But only 7% of restaurants currently use the service.

The recession is continuing to take on casualties in the restaurant industry, with many businesses needing to be propped up by banks to tide them over. Gordon Ramsey, a client of LiveBookings, recently admitted that he may be forced to file for bankruptcy protection.

EOC Partners acted as the investment banking advisor in the transaction. Lewis Silkin provided legal advice to Livebookings and Mark A. Dorff, Brown Rudnick were advisors to Wellington Partners.