Tablecross raises US$2.2 million in Series A for ByFood

Tablecross, the Tokyo-based company behind food tourism platform ByFood, has secured a US$2.24 million investment to promote gastronomy tourism and strengthen the creation of unique food experiences in Japan.

The Series A funding, which is underwritten by Japan’s largest travel agent JTB Corporation among others, will be used to expand recruitment, marketing and system integration for ByFood, whose gross merchandise value in 2023 so far has increased 1,453 per cent year-on-year, according to Tablecross.

From left: Tablecross’ Serkan Toso and Kaoru Joho

ByFood comprises an e-commerce gourmet marketplace and a restaurant reservation system, both of which primarily target travellers in Europe, Australia and the US.

“With the support of its Series A investors, Tablecross has renowned its own goal to create and refine its high value-added products – original food experiences that attract travellers from around the world,” the company said in a statement.

JTB’s president of the global business unit headquarters, Goro Kido, added: “By leveraging the strengths of both companies, such as through sales of ByFood food experience tours using the JTB network, we hope to realise a spiritually rich and sustainable society by providing visitors from various countries with a deep taste of Japanese food and the diverse culture unique to each region.”

Serkan Toso, chief operating officer of Tablecross, told TTG Asia: “With a focus on improving the number of restaurants accepting online reservations from foreigners in Japan, investing in systems integrations, and preparing for global expansion, we aim to become a leading food tourism platform in Japan and globally.”

The investment builds on Tablecross’ recent business successes. At the 2022 UNWTO Global Gastronomy Tourism Startup Competition, the company won the top award, while at the 2022 World Luxury Travel Awards, it was selected as best online travel agency in Japan.

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