App studio is Hungry for Subway deal

The team behind Brisbane start-up Hungry Apps is heading to the United States to promote their products, including an app for Subway, after receiving funds from tech entrepreneur Stephen Baxter.


Founded by Daniel Filmer and Jarrod O’Connell, Hungry Apps recently received a personal investment from Queensland tech entrepreneur Stephen Baxter, founder of River City Labs.


While the actual investment figure remains undisclosed, it’s believed to be between $100,000 and $300,000. According to Filmer, Baxter has taken a minor shareholding stake in the start-up.


The first application under the Hungry Apps brand is TXT4 Coffee, which enables customers to order and pay for their coffee before arriving at their local coffee shop, eliminating wait time.


Since its launch last year, some 300 coffee shops have signed up for the platform, predominantly in Brisbane but also in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, Hobart and several rural cities and towns.


“TXT4 Coffee is really the iTunes for the coffee sector,” Filmer says.


“For the customer to be able to jump the queue during rush hour is an invaluable service coffee shops can provide… An immense amount of time is saved through this technology.”


The start-up’s second – and arguably more impressive – app is TXT4 Subway, which goes live this month. Similar to TXT4 Coffee, TXT4 Subway lets customers pre-order and pay in advance.


“We’re only a week away from launching publicly in six Subways,” Filmer says.


“We have a Subway just up the road, and our developers would go there for lunch. Subway is very similar to coffee shops – you always wait in line and follow the same process every time.”


“We thought, it would be great to pay before we get there. We approached the business owner of our local Subway, and she turned out to have four or five franchises.”


“We pitched the idea to her and she loved it.”


Filmer says Hungry Apps is keen to roll out TXT4 Subway on a broader basis by targeting other franchisees who are “quite influential in the Subway franchise chain”.


“Our aim is to sell off the back of them and to become the underlying technology platform for Subway in Australia,” he says.


“We’re not dealing with head office at this stage. But it should become a no-brainer for head office to take it on board and promote it because it comes at no cost to them.”


According to Filmer, Hungry Apps is in talks with a number of other fast food franchises, but he cannot reveal any names at this stage.


In the meantime, Hungry Apps is preparing for a 10-day visit to the US, where the team will look to secure additional funding and promote its various apps, primarily its “umbrella” app Hungry4.


“[The funding amount is] going to be in the low millions,” Filmer says.


“Hungry4 is our umbrella app, which we’re launching in a month. It’s an app that has all the TXT4 Coffee and TXT4 Subway locations… A large part is the search functionality in it.”


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