Dubai’s iKcon raises $20 million Series A to expand its ‘cloud-kitchen-as-a-service’ platform to Saudi

Dubai-based cloud kitchen operator iKcon (Innovative Kitchen Concepts) has raised $20 million in a Series A, it announced today. The investment that came from Mohamed Yousuf Naghi Group, AlTouq Group, Derayah Ventures, B&Y Venture Partners, AbdulMohsin Al Houkair Holding Group, and Nazer Group, takes iKcon’s total raise to date to $32 million.

Founded in 2019 by Khalid Baareh and Kareem Abughazaleh, iKcon helps restaurants and other F&B brands grow using its network of cloud kitchens in Dubai & Abu Dhabi. The cloud-kitchen-as-a-service startup procures (ingredients), cooks, and delivers food on behalf of restaurants and brands it partners with. With a few exceptions, the restaurants and F&B brands usually don’t have large networks of outlets/stores – because of which they’re unable to serve a lot of potential food delivery customers.

That’s where iKcon helps them. If a restaurant or brand wants to extend its reach in the cities where iKcon operates, they will partner with them and iKcon will take care of everything on behalf of the restaurant and deliver the food to customers from one of its cloud kitchens. It currently operates 14 kitchens and plans to grow the network to 50 in the near future. The startup is starting its regional expansion with Saudi. According to its website, it is opening four new kitchens in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Sharjah.

Khalid Baareh, the co-founder and CEO of iKcon, said, “We are thrilled to be backed by leading regional investors and Venture Capital firms that share our vision and actively support our growth. The newly raised funds will be used to accelerate KSA & regional expansion plan, and the development of iKcon’s proprietary technology stack.”

“We are laser-focused on further developing our technology to accelerate the evolution of data analytics, process automation, and AI as a key differentiator in how we operate in our fast-growing sector. The food delivery space is growing rapidly and we are proud of our significant contribution towards our partners’ ambitions of growing their customer base and expanding their brand reach,” he added.

iKcon currently works with over 70 international and regional brands and has more than 650 employees. In addition to working with established restaurants, the startup also works with relatively young F&B brands as well. It also manages the relationships with food delivery aggregators on behalf of the restaurants/brands (that it works with).

Kareem Abughazaleh, Co-Founder & COO, said: “This is a vote of confidence for our team’s relentless efforts to improve our capabilities through ongoing attention to maintaining brand standards, consistency, and speed. We are constantly reinvesting in our operational excellence & training programs, and we expect to accelerate this as we continue to scale our reach.”

Faris AlRashed, Chairman of the Board at Derayah Ventures, said, “We are big believers in the unique business model the team behind iKcon has built which perfectly fits Derayah’s mission of backing innovative business models run by driven founders. Technological innovation tackling all industries is the new norm and we truly believe the future of the rapidly transforming F&B sector is here. We are long term partners and ready to support the management team to achieve their growth and technology plans.”

Zubair Naeem Paracha
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