Take App was born during the pandemic in Singapore to help small businesses address an urgent need.
It was Good Friday, 2020, in the country-wide lockdown known as “Circuit Breaker”, when our founder Youmin decided to order in lunch from a local eatery mentioned on a Facebook group for supporting local businesses.
He never got his lunch order – the eatery only responded 4 hours later. The owner was a one-man show and overwhelmed with orders on WhatsApp, which he had to reply to manually.
Youmin realised many small business owners were doing everything themselves from cooking and taking orders to customer service. Not only were they struggling to manage orders on their mobile phones, they did not have much time for marketing or new product development which is critical for their business growth.
This sparked the idea of a simple tool to easily add items to cart and place orders via WhatsApp message, so that business owners would not have to send each customer the menu, answer questions and so on. They still could take orders via WhatsApp, and would not have to spend a cent or learn something new.
Youmin spent the next two days creating this tool and shared it to the Facebook group. To his surprise, many eateries adopted it almost immediately and customers even encouraged restaurants to get on board so they could place their orders
Over the last two years, Take App has grown organically with a ground-up approach. With no staff, we relied on a WhatsApp group chat with our users to troubleshoot issues – which led to users influencing which features were built next. Some of our most popular features like discount codes (to encourage repeat orders) and order exports (to manage advance orders and deliveries) are direct results of this.
Youmin worked at Meta in the day and on Take App at night, finding meaning in supporting small merchants. The tipping point came when one day, Take App was down due to a server issue and he saw the impact on the businesses depending on it firsthand. He felt responsible for these businesses which were supporting families and neglected by large service providers because they had no buying power.
That was when he took the plunge to turn Take App from side project to a full-fledged business. Since 2020, we have graduated from Y Combinator, expanded the team, received seed funding from Meta in August 2022 and are now supporting over 10,000 businesses across 30+ countries, from artisans to restaurants.
Our simple tool is being refined every day to make the day-to-day running of a business possible from just your mobile phone. Our philosophy is to create essential features for merchants which are free to start and really easy to use. We understand our users’ constraints, so if a feature doesn’t cost us extra, it doesn’t cost you.