Kitopi, a two-year-old Dubai-based managed cloud kitchen platform (that claims to be the leading of its kind in the world) has raised $60 million in its massive Series B round, it announced today in a statement to MENAbytes. The round it said was led by Knollwood and Lumia Capital with further participation from new and existing global including Beco Capital, CE-Ventures, GIC, MSA Capital, Rise Capital, Reshape, Global Ventures and Wilshire Lane Partners.
Founded in January 2018 by Mohamad Ballout, Saman Darkan, Bader Ataya and Andres Arenas, the startup that’s now dually headquartered in Dubai and New York partners with restaurants to expand their delivery reach.
“Kitopi’s mission is to power the food economy by revolutionizing the way people can access food. Restaurant owners are able to focus on running their restaurants while Kitopi takes care of all aspects of operations, ensuring that meals are delivered fresh and quickly to customers who order via third party food delivery apps,” it said in a statement.
It provides them with access to ‘state-of-the-art’ infrastructure at a minimal cost Kitopi’s expertly-trained staff, and industry-focused technology. Kitopi’s competitive advantage it says is in their in-house suite of applications (collectively known as a smart kitchen operating system – “SKOS”) which optimize all aspects of kitchen operations in real-time to maximize efficiency and increase utilization.
The startup caters to the entire customer journey experience from the call center to delivery, allowing restaurant owners to focus on running their dine-in space, marketing, and menu development.
The statement and Kitopi’s website have no details about how much it charges the restaurants to manage all of this but from what we know, they work on a revenue-sharing basis.
Kitopi currently operates 30 kitchens across the United States, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, and Kuwait and plans to continue expanding into both new and existing markets. It aims to open 50 more locations in the United States and 100 globally within in 2020.
The cloud kitchen startup has partnered with over 100 restaurants including names like Operation Flalfel, Pizza Express, Rite Bite, and Under 500. Under 500, Kitopi said, has double its revenue year on year and scale internationally using its services. Kitopi, according to its website currently has over 1,200 employees.
Mohamad Ballout, the co-founder and CEO of Kitopi, said, “This is an exciting space and we are humbled to work with world-class investors who share a unified vision on how we can team up with restaurants to revolutionize the food industry. This investment is a big win for our restaurant partners, as well as the hundreds of thousands of customers who can continue to access their favorite dishes.
“None of this would be possible without the tireless efforts of our leadership team and ‘Kitopians’ (employees), responsible for putting Kitopi on the global map today,” he added
Chris Rogers, Partner at Lumia Capital (which was also an early investor in Careem), said, “Kitopi has demonstrated its ability to differentiate itself from others in an increasingly crowded space, by collaborating closely with restaurants to achieve one common objective. It has shown success in building an innovative product that is capable of constantly adapting itself to suit customer needs while also being scalable.”
“I think if you’re a restaurant looking to scale, or if you’re a brand thinking of opening a new restaurant, this is the best way to succeed (and fast). We’re excited to see how Kitopi continues to reinvent the food tech space,” he added.