iKcon, the Dubai based cloud kitchen platform, has raised a Pre-Series A round of $5 million. The round was led by Arzan VC, AlTouq Group, and Nazer Group in participation with other investors. This takes its total funding to date to $10 million.
Khalid Baareh (CEO) and Kareem Abughazaleh (COO) co-founded iKcon in 2019. They wanted to address the growing demand for food delivery across the Middle East. Currently, iKcon operates ten cloud kitchens across the UAE. It has plans to start operations in Saudi Arabia in Q4 2020 and will expand to other countries in the region throughout 2021. iKcon’s short term goal is to rapidly grow its network to thirty cloud kitchens.
Baareh explained one of the biggest obstacles in the sector is the financial and operational burden of expanding. Another major issue restaurant’s owner’s failure to adopt technology to improve their operational capabilities. He says “iKcon’s business model solves both of those issues through its proprietary technology, operational know-how and a passion for quality food. I’m very proud of the strong and experienced team we’ve built, which allows us to execute seamlessly and continue our growth trajectory in one the fastest growing delivery markets.”
The growth potential of the food delivery and cloud kitchen market is significant. “We plan on launching iKcon’s Series A round in Q4 2020. The funding will fuel iKcon’s regional expansion and technology built out. We are laser-focused on developing proprietary technology to accelerate the evolution of data analytics, process automation, and AI as a key differentiator in our fast-growing space. The next few years are going to be very exciting and transformational years for the food delivery market.” Baareh added.
The company has successfully partnered with numerous leading brands operating in the region. It has been helping them reach a significantly larger customer base in a short time frame with no capital or operating expenditure, resulting in substantially better returns. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the food delivery market’s growth and proven the resiliency of iKcon’s business model.
GrubTech is another cloud kitchen that managed to secure funding during the pandemic.
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