Kitopi raised $415 million in a Series C funding round led by Softbank, with participation from Chimera, DisruptAD, B. Riley, Dogus Group, Next Play Capital and Nordstar. This round marks SoftBank Vision Fund 2’s first investment in a UAE-headquartered company.
Kitopi “has crossed the billion dollar valuation mark now,”, said Mohamad Ballout, Kitopi’s CEO. “We now have enough capital to really fuel the growth of our business in the Middle East and to expand globally.”
The deal marks one of the largest funding rounds for a Middle East technology company. Kitopi was rated the second most funded startup in the UAE in 2020, however today it has overtaken EPMG as the first.
Kitopi is considered as a leading managed cloud kitchen platform. It operates 60+ cloud kitchens across the UAE, KSA, Kuwait, and more recently, Bahrain. Cloud kitchens, which handle food preparation of delivery orders for multiple restaurant brands, have become a new hotspot for tech investors as the pandemic has hit restaurant dining. Kitopi partners with restaurants and F&B brands, enabling them to expand their reach through its kitchens, in as little as 14 days.
Faisal Rehman, Managing Partner for SoftBank Investment Advisers, said: “Constraints placed on the hospitality sector by the global pandemic have rapidly catalyzed the value proposition of cloud kitchens for customers and restaurant brands. We believe Kitopi’s proprietary technology is changing the unit economics of food delivery in providing more choice to more customers, in more places. Moreover, we are delighted to welcome Kitopi as SoftBank’s first UAE-headquartered investment and are excited by the company’s growth prospects in the region and beyond.
The funding package will be used to accelerate the firm’s expansion in Saudi Arabia and also to start operations in new countries. Kitopi will make Saudi Arabia its Middle East headquarters while Dubai will remain a global head office as it looks to expand into Southeast Asia.
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