Lychee Egypt, a front-runner in the health-oriented food and beverage market, is embarking on a significant expansion into the Saudi Arabian market after securing a Series A investment led by Beltone Venture Capital, along with Index Sports Fund and Twenty Eight Capital Limited.
With a track record of impressive growth, including a 120% increase in year-on-year growth in 2023, Lychee has established itself as a household name in Egypt since its inception in 2012. The brand is celebrated for its affordable and health-conscious offerings, capturing a sizable share of Egypt’s $5 billion F&B industry.
The strategic investment underscores a concerted effort to tap into the lucrative Saudi market, which is expected to reach $30 billion by 2030. Lychee’s initiative will support the opening of 30 branches in the initial phase, securing strategic locations and enhancing its omni-channel capabilities to meet the evolving cultural and economic landscape of Saudi Arabia.
Ali Mokhtar, CEO of Beltone Venture Capital, praised Lychee’s market foresight and online retail strategy, which currently accounts for over half of their sales. The decision to invest was influenced by Lychee’s profitable history, sound business plan, and dedicated team. Notably, Beltone Venture Capital’s active investment strategy in the region is further exemplified by its recent investment in Ariika, another strong player in the market, demonstrating its commitment to fostering growth and innovation in diverse sectors.
Mohamed Assy, founder and CEO of Lychee, elaborated on the strategic move, “This investment marks the first time Lychee has raised money since we started the business. The decision came in light of our desire to enter the Saudi market. It’s a big goal with a lot of moving parts, we’ve already signed two locations which we’re very excited about. We know it’s a big market and we need to break through so to speak – prime locations will play a huge part in our brand positioning, and we’re also keen on penetrating Gyms and sports clubs as we’ve done locally”.
Assy also shared future-oriented plans, “But it doesn’t end there, our next big focus will be tech with the launch of Lychee’s mobile app end of 2024, focusing on streamlining the supply chain and enhancing customer experience. All of this to say, our biggest asset right now is the team and how committed we are, they’ll be stretched across both markets and both arms of the business during this transitional phase, but thankfully, we have everyone’s heart in it”.
Lychee’s founder and CEO, Mohamed Assy, reflected on the brand’s journey and its pioneering role in Egypt’s healthy food industry, maintaining leadership through continuous innovation. The regional expansion into Saudi Arabia is a calculated move, mirroring the strategic approach that was successful in their home market.
The capital from this latest funding round will not only support Lychee’s Saudi venture but will also fund the doubling of their branches in Egypt by the next year. This growth is a testament to Lychee’s commitment to excellence, community-building, and its transformative approach to the F&B sector.
Lychee’s business model is built on a multifaceted sales approach, integrating retail, modern and traditional trade, online sales, and partnerships in the HORECA sector, each contributing to the company’s robust revenue streams and expanding visibility.
This expansion marks a new chapter for Lychee, as they continue to scale up and bring their health-centric F&B offerings to a broader audience, reinforcing their vision of leading the market in healthy, fast-food options while fostering community connections.
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