Settle Your Tab With Your Phone? NEA Will Drink to That

ATX Innovation, which makes TabbedOut, an app that enables bar and restaurant patrons settle their tabs from their iPhone (s aapl) or Android (s goog) handsets, has raised $2.05 million in funding from NEA, for a total of $2.8 million raised.

TabbedOut, which launched at SXSW last year (see my coverage), integrates with point-of-sale software. It has 10 partners with four integrations complete, said ATX CEO Rick Orr. That means the app has the potential to service 30 percent of the U.S.’s 500,000 restaurants and bars. In reality, the company has deployments at only 90 total venues. It’s working on partnerships with chain restaurants so TabbedOut can grown more quickly.

Each TabbedOut transaction carries a convenience charge of $0.99, but ATX waives fees for new users, and is talking to restaurants and sponsors about subsidizing fees. The company is also adding new features like the ability to split checks (which is live on Android, and waiting for approval on the iPhone). Orr said there are already indications that TabbedOut is inspiring customer loyalty, with more than 65 percent repeat usage.

I really like the way TabbedOut combines the physical and digital worlds; like Taxi Magic, it turns your mobile phone into a remote control for your life. It’s also a promising way for mobile payments to move from their sweet spot of virtual goods into the real world.

NEA is also an investor in the mobile social app Loopt. Orr said that ATX is unlikely to integrate many social features into TabbedOut due to the sensitive nature of its users spending their money, but that the company plans to add information about where your friends are out from services like Gowalla so you can go find them after you settle your bill.

ATX has nine employees and is based in Austin, Tex.

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