Earlier this year, mobile food ordering startup Tapingo added $10.5 million in funding from Khosla Ventures to help it expand to more college campuses. Today it’s announcing that it’s hired former Google and Yahoo exec Jeff Hardy as its chief revenue officer to help get them there.
Tapingo offers a mobile app for college students who wish to order food from various locations on and around campus. It allows customers to skip the order line at campus eateries, by pre-ordering and paying for their meals on their phone.
Hardy was brought on board to expand the number of places where the app will be available. His most relevant work experience came at Google, where he served as head of local and product partnerships. There he did work with a number of small and medium-sized businesses to help get them indexed. He also worked on partnerships with OpenTable and other business listings sites to enhance Google’s local listings.
More recently, Hardy served as the head of global product partnerships at Yahoo, where he focused on extending the reach of the company’s products worldwide. Prior to that, he served a short stint at Badoo, where he oversaw partnerships and M&A as the company’s VP of business development and corporate development.
At Tapingo, Hardy will be in charge of all sales, marketing, and partnerships that are struck to bring its app to university campuses and local businesses nearby. Given his experience leading local for Google, that’s a role he’s well-positioned to fill.
“All of these relationships are pretty complex partnerships,” Hardy told me in a phone conversation. It’ll be his job to help navigate all the different components of the ecosystem, including understanding both the student body and the merchants that serve them.
“Our core focus right now is going to be getting on as many campuses as we can,” he said.
The good news is that once a deployment is live on campus, students are quickly adopting the mobile ordering app. Tapingo is available on 30 campuses now, with transactions growing 35 percent over the last semester. On some campuses, the app already represents more than 50 percent of total transactions at their top venues.
The real key to its success, according to Hardy, is that Tapingo is providing value to both sides of the equation. It does that first by creating a seamless payment experience for consumers. And for businesses, Tapingo helps to drive more orders without getting in the way of their existing operations.
That’s something he’ll be looking to take advantage of in his new role.