Service Lets U Text Message 4 Takeout

Noah Glass has built a service that lets you order coffee or takeout food via text message. To expand it, he needs $5 million.

His Pitch: Think of Mobo Systems as a mobile phone version of PayPal. In 2006, we launched a pilot program with local Subway and Dunkin' Donuts franchises and some other restaurants in New York City. Our system lets a customer place an order from a set menu of options by text message. We automatically charge the buyer's credit card, collecting a 10 percent transaction fee from the restaurant. When the customer reaches the store, he can skip the line and pick up his order. Our average sale is $9.69.

So far, we've signed up 60 restaurants in the metropolitan area, and now we're opening the service to any restaurant in the country. A restaurant or coffee shop can simply sign up online. We're hoping that this concept will spread virally across college campuses the way Facebook did. Then, at the end of the year, we'll begin raising money to move into other verticals, going after accounts such as pharmacies, dry cleaners, and ballparks. We're in talks with several major drugstore chains, as well as a New York City sports venue that would use the system to allow fans to order hot dogs and other concession items from their seats.

This service has mainstream potential: Mobile payments are widely used in countries like South Africa and South Korea. Though they haven't taken off in the United States just yet, many banks and credit card companies are excited about the idea, and the only question is which app is going to be the killer app. We think ours is the best thing out there.

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