Cairo-based food discovery and ordering platform Elmenus has raised $8 million in a Series B round, it announced today in a statement to MENAbytes. The investment was led by Dubai-based Global Ventures and Cairo-based Algebra Ventures with participation from Tarek Sakr and Hamad Al Homizi, the co-founders of Kuwait’s 4Sale who recently partially exited their startup to NBK Capital. The round takes Elmenus’ total raise to date close to $10 million.
Founded in 2011 by Amir Allam, Elmenus (as its name suggests) had initially started as a food discovery platform with the aim to help users discover restaurants and menus online.
But after raising a $1.5 million Series A led by Algebra Ventures in 2017, the startup last year totally revamped its product and grew the company from 25 to 100 employees to launch online food ordering service, with restaurants delivering the orders.
Elmenus team has now grown to over 200 employees and it has very recently also launched its own delivery service with an in-house fleet (that’s managed by them but uses freelancers) to deliver food for its partner restaurants and compete with the likes of Delivery Hero’s Otlob and Uber Eats in Egypt.
Amir, speaking to MENAbytes, said that they are currently delivering over 10 percent of their orders using their own fleet and expect this number to go beyond 50 percent of their orders in the next six months, “It is a significant number given how many orders we process every month.”
Glovo, an important player in the food delivery space (even though it was not doing food deliveries only) in Egypt recently exited the market with their market share up for grabs which is a great opportunity for Elmenus to make inroads into the food delivery space.
The statement by the startup noted that the online food delivery space in Egypt is a massively untapped market with only 4 percent of food delivery orders being processed online, for now, and that the main competition is with phone orders.
“Through its AI-powered food recommendation engine and fully automated online ordering platform, Elmenus is well-positioned to disrupt and dominate the online food delivery space,” said the Cairo-based startup in a statement to MENAbytes.
Elmenus, serving over 1 million users across Cairo through its website and mobile apps, claims to have been experiencing double-digit monthly growth recently.
Amir told MENAbytes that they’ll be mainly spending the money to expand the reach of their fleet across Egypt and to personalize food recommendations to users on dish level so they can make better dining decisions.
In a statement, commenting on the occasion, he added, “We believe our success as a startup is a combination of innovatively solving the right user problems, great team and laser-focused execution. We have been able to grow the market in Egypt and accomplish great milestones very efficiently, we are excited about what we will do with this additional funding and the support of Global Ventures coming on board as we continue to scale across Egypt and help millions of more users to discover and order the food they will love.”
Basil Moftah, General Partner at Global Ventures, said, “We are incredibly excited to announce Global Ventures’ investment in a leading food-tech startup such as Elmenus, and look forward to working closely with the team in terms of driving further value creation opportunities that result in continued growth.”
Ziad Mokhtar, Managing Partner at Algebra Ventures, said, “With their first raise of $1.5M, Elmenus proved our original investment thesis that a strong local player with a broader offering can have disproportionate achievement. The company has unique efficiencies and this round could be enough to secure its leadership in the rapidly growing digital market in Egypt.”