MyChec k started three years ago as an idea over “too much sake.” While sitting with a friend at a Jerusalem bar, Tal Zvi Nathanel imaged a perfect world where he would be able to wave his phone, pay for his drinks, and walk out without ever having to worry about leaving his card behind. From there, with financial help from “family, friends, and fools,” he and his friend – now MyCheck CEO Shlomit Kugler – worked backward from the idea to make the technology a reality.
Initially it was an app – one that aimed to help diners split their bills evenly, lest no one fear being the odd man out paying $30 when all they ordered was a Diet Coke. For restaurants that adopted the technology, it would also help get customers paid for quickly and easily.
It works like this: you check into a restaurant using the free MyCheck app, which generates a four-digit code to show your server. As items are added to your bill, they show up on your screen in real time, allowing you to split them with your friends however you see fit. Everyone at the table can use the technology, or just one person. When you’re done with your meal, you choose your tip on your phone, and head out without paper getting in the way. As the MyCheck website puts it, “checkout like a rockstar.” Or, as Nathanel puts it, “go out like you own the place.”
When it comes to defining MyCheck, Tal Zvi Nathanel wants to be perfectly clear: “it’s not just an app, it’s a technology.” This is because Nathanel and his team have groomed the technology to allow businesses to purchase and embed MyCheck’s code, or have MyCheck build them a branded app from the ground up.
The technology got its start in Israel, where it has had the most success, and has since spread to Brazil, Israel, and the United States. Nathanel says the key to getting MyCheck to spread even further is getting more and more downloads, which has been easier in Israel than in the United States.
“Israel is startup nation,” he said. “People are open to everything.”
But despite some initial reluctance from the American market, and a host of competing check-splitting apps, the future for MyCheck’s easy checkout technology appears to be bright. In October, MyCheck finalized their Series A funding round with $6.1 million. And just last week, MyCheck announced a partnership with PayPal that will allow users to pay with MyCheck technology through the PayPal app.
Not a bad result for a night of sake drinking.
Adam D’Arpino is the Restaurants Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow him on Twitter @AdamDArpino.