The Food Lab, an Egyptian cloud kitchen provider after two years of bootstrapping, the startups have secured $4.5 million in its first investment round.
A fund dedicated to Africa The round, which was headed by 4DX Ventures and UAE-based venture capital companies Nuwa Capital and Shorooq Partners, was one of Egypt’s biggest after Rabbit, Telda, and Milezmore. Al Faisaliah Group and Samurai Incubate are among the other investors.
The Food Lab is a cloud kitchen platform, but it also portrays itself as an infrastructure startup for Egypt’s 400,000 food and beverage (F&B) restaurants. The firm offers a comprehensive range of end-to-end services, including purchasing and cloud kitchen (kitchen as a service).
El Daly and his co-founders Ahmed Osman and Wesam Masoud came up with the Food Lab, which they launched in 2020.
If a restaurant is having trouble expanding owing to financial constraints or low profits, co-founder and CEO Osman indicated that they can visit one of the company’s cloud kitchens located throughout Cairo. For them, the organization will handle everything from sourcing to delivery.
The Food Lab’s online brand consultant, which is effectively a machine-learning-powered data-centric dashboard, democratizes data and gives these businesses detailed information about their operations and finances.
Menu reengineering, marketing, profit margins, consumer segmentation, and purchaser persona classification are among the other data points.
According to the Egyptian cloud kitchen supplier, their technology enables established restaurant owners to increase significantly and new brands to go from idea to production in as little as 10 days.
The Food Lab is used by more than 50 restaurants and food brands, and 175,000 end customers have placed orders through its facilities, according to the business.
Aggregation, marketing, and procurement expenses are all charged as a proportion of the client’s revenue. As such, the Food Lab’s revenues have been increasing by 25-35 percent month over month.
The Food Lab will open with one kitchen in October 2020. Despite the fact that the food tech firm only launched a second store last year, the owners claim that orders have climbed by 10 times and revenues have risen by 60 times since its debut.
Cloud kitchens are increasing in popularity in many regions of the world, including Africa. Across the region, new cloud kitchen operators are springing up.
There are also software solutions for these delivery-only kitchens available from entrepreneurs. These businesses aspire to replicate the popularity of African restaurants.
In Egypt’s foodtech sector, cloud kitchens are a relatively new addition. In the delivery of food, Egypt is recognized for its domination of talabats and elmenus.
The modest rate of development is due to a lack of information and penetration of online food ordering, but that is improving owing to cloud kitchens like The Food Lab.
As a result of the apparent cost advantages of operating out of a common cooking environment, cloud kitchens are becoming increasingly popular in emerging economies, especially as meal delivery services are in higher demand than ever.
The companies active in Sub-Saharan Africa, such as Kune and Ando, are quite modest. The Middle East, on the other hand, is dominated by huge firms like Kitopi and REEF.
The Food Lab boasts to be the first of its kind in Egypt, which sits at the crossroads of both markets. This pre-seed investment, according to the startup’s founders, will help the firm to grow further in the country and lay the groundwork for entry into the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa.
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