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Restaurant payments app Sunday pulls out of four markets

Sunday raised $124m within 5 months of launching last year, chasing global expansion at breakneck speed. But now it’s making a sharp U-turn

By Amy O'Brien

Sunday's three cofounders,Tigrane Seydoux, Victor Lugger and Christine de Wendel

Sunday, the QR code restaurant payments app launched in April 2021, is pulling out of 60% of its markets and making extensive cuts to its global team, Sifted has learnt.

The company confirmed to Sifted it is shutting down operations in four of the seven markets it rapidly expanded to in the last 16 months: Spain, Portugal, Canada and Italy. Sunday only launched in Italy and Portugal a month ago. 

“With the current state of the market, investors are now expecting profit from the get-go,” a spokesperson for the company tells Sifted. “Sunday has been navigating this shift by refocusing its geographical footprint to its most important markets — the US, the UK and France.” 

Sifted understands that Sunday is also making layoffs as part of this strategy change, but the company would not confirm an exact number because of ongoing legal processes.

“It is with great sadness that Sunday has paused operations in countries where it had a significant number of clients and a stellar team on the ground,” the spokesperson adds. 

“Sunday is supporting all team members in finding their future opportunities.”

Fast and furious growth 

Sunday, which only launched in April 2021, grew at breakneck speed on the back of the Covid-induced transition to paperless restaurant experiences. Sunday’s app allows customers to view restaurant menus on their phones and pay their bill faster via a QR code, promising restaurateurs a cut on the commission they pay on transactions. 

The startup attracted considerable investor attention. Sunday’s €20m seed round, raised in April 2021, was one of last year’s biggest in Europe. Just five months later, it raised a $100m Series A from the likes of Coatue and DST Global to fuel its global expansion. At the time, the company said it planned to double its team from 175 to 350 in 12 months — a target it exceeded within seven. 

Two of the company’s three cofounders, Victor Lugger and Tigrane Seydoux, come from a foodie background, having founded the Big Mamma restaurant chain.

More than 150 employees work at Sunday’s Paris HQ.

According to the company, it works with more than 4,000 restaurants in the UK, US and France.

Amy O’Brien is Sifted’s fintech reporter. She tweets from @Amy_EOBrien and coauthors our fintech newsletter. Sign up here

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