Egyptian cloud kitchen provider The Food Lab secures US$4.5M pre-seed for expansion

EGYPT – Egyptian startup that provides cloud technology for the food and beverages industry in Egypt, Food Lab, has secured us$4.5 million in pre-seed financing to expand operations.

The seed round was led by Africa-focused fund 4DX Ventures and UAE-based venture capital firms Nuwa Capital and Shorooq Partners with participation from Al Faisaliah Group and Samurai Incubate.

The funds will allow the company to further expand in the country and lay the foundation for entry into the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa.

Founded in 2020 by El Daly, Ahmed Osman, and Wesam Masoud, Food Lab 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).

The startup has an online brand consultant, which is effectively a machine-learning-powered data-centric dashboard, that democratizes data and gives these businesses detailed information about their operations and finances.

Other information includes menu reengineering, marketing, profitability margins, customer segmentation, and buyer persona classification.

The Egyptian cloud kitchen provider says that its platform allows ‘existing restaurant owners to grow exponentially and new brands to go from concept to launch within just 10 days.’

In Egypt’s food-tech 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 Food Lab boasts to be the first of its kind in Egypt, which sits at the crossroads of both markets.

Since its launch, the start-up’s orders have grown 10x, and revenues collected since inception have also increased by 60x.

More than 50 restaurants and food brands use The Food Lab, and 175,00 end customers have made orders from its kitchens, the company said.

These clients are charged a percentage of their revenues, including aggregation, marketing, and procurement fees. The Food Lab’s revenues have been growing 25-35% month-on-month as a result.

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