Egyptian-based cloud kitchen platform, The Food Lab (TFL), has raised $4.5 million in its pre-seed funding round. The startup, which is the first cloud kitchen service operator in the North African country, plans to use the funds to develop on its technology, upscale its staff through strategic hires, and push its expansion across Egypt.
Participating in the fundraising round include Nuwa Capital, Shorooq Partners, and 4DX Ventures: the trio which led the funding round. Further participations came from investors like Saudi Arabia’s Al Faisaliah Group and Abdul Majeed Al Hokair; Japan’s Samurai Incubate, as well as other angel investors.
The startup describes itself as an infrastructure company for restaurants in Egypt. It offers full suite of end-to-end services, including cloud kitchen (kitchen as a service), procurements, cooking, delivery, and marketing. The startup’s main customers include restaurants and operators in the Food and Beverage (F&B) business.
The platform also has a machine learning-powered virtual brand consultant, with which it provide restaurants with a data-centric dashboard that delivers advice for their brands in areas like operations, finance, menu re-engineering, marketing, supplier research, and more.
The Food Lab was founded in 2020 by Kareem El Daly, Ahmed Osman, and Wesam Masoud. The startup was founded to solve the problems El Daly discovered when he intends to start a restaurant business with his wife. He noticed that restaurant business require high initial investment, increasing operating expenses, high cost of rent, and high commission charged by aggregators.
“Our mission is to bridge the gap between restaurants and consumers, and by building technology infrastructure, we are enabling the transformation of Egypt’s Food and Beverage (F&B) industry. Restaurants powered by The Food Lab can expand quickly, without any capital commitment, while strengthening their brand equity. Our tech infrastructure helps our clients make data-driven decisions whilst delivering Egypt’s highest level of service excellence to the largest number of people. Additionally, customers can benefit from easy access to their favourite restaurants. Together with our investors, we look forward to accelerating a new phase of growth for the F&B industry,” El Daly said.
Speaking on the fundraise, Nuwa Capital’s Venture Lead, Ghassan Noursi, said:
“The Food Lab is offering restaurant owners a solution to the problems posed by the country’s recent trend of de-urbanisation, which makes it very difficult for a restaurant to reach any meaningful percentage of a given population. TFL’s founders have really put together an amazing team to help the company scale nationwide, and their singular commitment to improving customer satisfaction is one that I am confident will lead to an ever-improving product stack.”
TFL said it serves 50 restaurants and food brands, and 175,000 end customers have made orders from its kitchens, Since starting operations, the startup claims that it has grown 10 times, and increased its revenue 60 times.