Kaykroo, UAE’s cloud kitchen startup launches and raises $4 Mn funding

Kaykroo, UAE's cloud kitchen startup launches and raises $4 Mn funding
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UAE-based Kaykroo, on Tuesday, 13 October 2020, raised $4 million Pre-Series A funding and launched with 15 locations in the UAE. The funding round was led by various family offices in the UAE. The company is aiming to utilise the funds to expand into Saudi Arabia (KSA).

Launched by Jihad El-Eit, Kaykroo is the advancement of El-Eit’s Man’oushe Street chain of restaurants which are now converted to delivery-only kitchens that encompass several virtual restaurant brands including Bank Bank Chicken, Wrapped and Hummus Brothers.

Based on a statement by the company, Kaykroo has come as an effective redressal to the hindrance caused due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the restaurant and other forms of dine-in experiences. And in such a scenario, food delivery is the only yet effective option for the restaurant chains. According to Statista, the food delivery sector is set to be worth $4 billion by the end of this year.

El-Eit started his journey in the food sector back in 2010 with Man’ousche Street, a restaurant chain that grew to 30 locations across UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Oman, and Bahrain. And soon when the foodtech space started gaining momentum in the Middle East, El-Eit’s focus began shifting to food delivery. The company claims that food delivery helped scale its business to 80 percent, and that the company hopped onto the food delivery space prior to the pandemic. On similar lines, El-Eith in a statement said,

“I started seeing the direction globally going to cloud kitchens and last year I decided to really master the delivery operation,”

El-Eit decided to maximise the output of Man’oushe Street’s kitchens and utilise the space and manpower to cook foods for virtual restaurant brands that he has created. The produced items from several menus, in the same location, are sold on food ordering platforms like Deliveroo and Talabat. He launched several brands, experimenting with menus that specialise in a single cuisine and analysed customer feedback to determine their preferences. Today, the company has 10 virtual brands and a workforce of 400, including 100 delivery drivers.

“The requirement is to build a brand that builds appetite. You don’t want to create a master brand and then create sub brands and compromise on quality. Our essence is quality, value proposition and level of service. We always make sure when we talk about the brand, we talk about the full experience,” El-Eit added

Kaykroo claims that it has fulfilled 1 million orders since the beginning of 2020. Various other startups including Dubai’s Food to Go, Sweetheart Kitchen, iKcon, GrubTech and many more are also on track with a similar model.

Speaking of the unique propositions of Kaykroo, El-Eit said,

“You’re seeing a lot of people coming to the delivery cloud kitchen space, but our model is different. We have our own tech which helps us be ahead of the game. Algorithms gives us a head’s up in terms of customer preference and community preference. We track the behaviour of the consumer and the market trends and customise trends to adjust to the consumer’s needs. This is the beauty of virtual brands, we understand the market is changing and we can adapt, technology helps you to accelerate the process.”

Commenting on the technological perspective, El-Eit further added,

“With AI and machine learning, it allows us to really understand every single step of the process from the pre-ordering to the ordering. Knowing what you want, at what time, unders