The Series C funding will also be used for internal growth, as the company looks to enter one of the fastest growing online food delivery markets.
Already standing as one of MENA’s most-funded startups, according to Forbes, UAE-based cloud kitchen operator, Kitopi, has announced the successful close of a $415M Series C investment. Led by Softbank Vision Fund 2, with participation from Chimera, DisruptAD, B. Riley, Dogus Group, Next Play Capital and Nordstar, the investment will allow the startup to take the big leap of expanding out of the region and into Southeast Asia, a market that is experiencing remarkable growth in online food delivery.
Founded in January 2018 by Mohamad Ballout, Saman Darkan, Bader Ataya and Andy Arenas, Kitopi boasts over 60 cloud kitchens across UAE, KSA Kuwait and Bahrain, in which some 2,500 different F&B partners (called 'Kitopians') operate. In addition, the company has a customer experience centre in Dubai and an engineering hub in Poland.
For Softbank, a Tokyo-headquartered conglomerate that invests in the technology, energy and financial sectors, the investment marks its first in UAE and will look to aid Kitopi in its Asian expansion plans, which will go someway to addressing the gaps exposed by the pandemic.
“Constraints placed on the hospitality sector by the global pandemic have rapidly catalysed the value proposition of cloud kitchens for customers and restaurant brands,” Faisal Rehman, Managing Partner for SoftBank Investment Advisers, said. “We believe Kitopi’s proprietary technology is changing the unit economics of food delivery in providing more choice to more customers, in more places.”
Expansion aside, the startup will also look to grow from within, with the funds also set to be channeled into expanding its tech stack, growing its strategic restaurant partnerships and building a best-in-class team across the organisation.