Online food delivery, like most other e-commerce ventures, has exploded in popularity amid the Covid-19 outbreak.
While people took to self isolation, many new startups saw the opportunity and came as an effective redressal to the hindrance caused by the pandemic in the restaurant and other forms of dine-in experiences.
This made food delivery the only effective option for restaurant chains. One such startup that shifted its business plan around this “new normal” was Kaykroo.
What is Kaykroo?
Kaykroo, the UAE-based foodtech startup is in essence a macroscale cloud kitchen business dedicated to creating amazing comfort food experiences. The startup shifted from ‘brick and mortar’ to a data-driven ‘brick & click’ platform, by launching their existing restaurants as cloud kitchens.
The new development follows a data-driven technology with an aim to increase the speed and efficiency of food preparation and delivery, delivering to the company’s promise to make great food accessible, anywhere and at any time.
Over the last decade, the team behind Kaykroo has successfully developed and independently operated six original concepts, by bringing international flavors to the local community.
Launched by Jihad El-Eit, Kaykroo is the extension of El-Eit’s Man’oushe Street chain of restaurants which have now been converted to delivery-only kitchens that encompass several virtual restaurant brands including Bank Bank Chicken, Wrapped, and Hummus Brothers. According to a 2021 report, the company has 10 virtual brands and a workforce of 400, including 100 delivery drivers.
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 food tech space started gaining momentum in the Middle East, El-Eit’s focus shifted to food delivery.
Background of Founders
Jihad completed his executive education at the Harvard Business School in Organizational Leadership. He became the Senior Vice President of Itsalat International Company – i2 in 2004. Then in 2008, he founded i2 Pakistan, a company that served as a distributor of Nokia in the region.
Later in 2012, he launched the Dubai – based restaurant, Manoushe Street, and finally, in 2020, he launched the Dubai – based food tech startup, Kaykroo.
Since its launch in 2020, Kaykroo’s network has grown from 15 to 18 facilities across Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Al Ain, and Ras Al Khaimah. The startup was all set to open its 19th facility in Riyadh in the third quarter of 2021.
The new company’s F&B brand portfolio has grown from six at the time of launch to ten concepts in total. These include Man’oushe Street, which now falls under Kaykroo’s umbrella. Launched in 2010, 80 percent of Man’oushe Street’s business comes from online orders for delivery.
In addition to its employee workforce, the company also owns a delivery fleet of over 100 valets, and 15 cloud kitchens and brand residences across the UAE.
Pre-Series A Funding: Raised $4 million
In October 2020, UAE-based Kaykroo raised $4 million Pre-Series A funding. The funding round was led by various family offices in the UAE.
The company plans to divert its funds towards further development of its proprietary technology and fuel kaykroo’s expansion in the GCC.
Over the course of the next 50 months, Kaykroo aims to offer 50 brands from their kitchens, across 50 locations in the region, generating a total of 500 million sales. This means Kaykroo will be five times its current size by 2024.