The Food Lab (TFL), Egypt’s first cloud kitchen services operator, has announced the completion of a significant $4.5 million pre-seed fundraising round. The round was led by Nuwa Capital and Shorooq Partners, and 4DX Ventures. It also included investors from all over the globe. The pre-seed round also saw the participation of Saudi Arabia-based Al Faisaliah Group and Abdul Majeed Al Hokair, alongside Japan’s Samurai Incubate and other angel investors.
Established in 2020, by Egyptian entrepreneurs Kareem El Daly, Ahmed Osman, and Wesam Masoud, TFL partners with 50+ local champions and international brands who are leveraging the company’s platform to grow their presence in Egypt. The Food Lab allows existing restaurant owners to grow exponentially while new brands can be launched in as little as 10 days.
Kareem El Daly, Founder & President of The Food Lab said, “Our mission is to bridge the gap between restaurants and consumers, and by building technology infrastructure, we are enabling the transformation of Egypt’s Food & Beverage (F&B) industry. In large countries like Egypt, with restaurants and consumers spread out over distances, it is imperative for businesses to create an incredible customer experience irrespective of how small or far the consumers are.”
He continued, “Restaurants powered by The Food Lab can expand quickly, without any capital commitment, while strengthening their brand equity. Our tech infrastructure helps our clients make data-driven decisions whilst delivering Egypt’s highest level of service excellence to the largest number of people. Customers also have easy access and control over their favourite restaurants. Together with our investors, we look forward to accelerating a new phase of growth for the F&B industry.”
TFL’s cloud kitchen is underpinned by a homegrown technology platform providing end-to-end services for restaurateurs, including procurement, cooking, delivery and marketing. Powered by machine-learning, TFL’s virtual brand consultant provides restaurants with a data-centric dashboard giving restaurateurs recommendations for their brands across operations, finance, menu reengineering, marketing, supplier analysis, and more.
Ahmed Osman, co-founder and CEO of The Food Lab said, “Together with our new investors we look forward to building on our leadership position to expand across Egypt. As well as the development of our technology, job creation is a priority. We are also excited to lay the ground-work for expansion to new markets in the Middle East and Africa, which will unlock growth opportunities for restaurants.”
Egypt’s restaurant sector has experienced a steady growth, reaching $17 billion annually. Market data indicates that Egyptians spend around 30% of their income in food. New technologies will allow restaurateurs scale up quickly.
Tamer Azer, Partner, Shorooq Partners said, “As investors, infrastructure is in our DNA. The Food Lab, first and foremost, is an infrastructure company that allows restaurants we love to grow. We provide them with everything they need from top-of-the-line ingredients to hard data to help improve their customer service. In Egypt’s increasingly more competitive food market, The Food Lab is the best success partner a restaurateur could ever want.”
TFL’s platform provides restaurants with technology-based opportunities to scale their growth. TFL’s technology transforms restaurants into data-driven enterprises, centralising company data in one simple platform. Restaurant managers can access reporting and benchmarking tools, insights platform, customer segmentation, and marketing tools easily. They can also measure growth against industry KPIs.
Ghassan Naursi, Venture Lead at Nuwa Capital, stated that the Food Lab offers restaurant owners a solution for the recent trend towards de-urbanization in the country, which makes it difficult for restaurants to reach a significant percentage of the population. TFL’s founders assembled an impressive team to scale the company nationwide. I believe their unwavering commitment to improving customer service will lead to a better product stack.
TFL has a strong founding team that has a wide range of world-class skills. They have a vision for how their platform will revolutionize Egypt’s food industry. Their products are high quality and their growth is a testament to their ability to turn talent into results. We are very excited to join them on this journey. Peter Orth is Managing Partner at 4DX Ventures.
TFL’s comprehensive on-boarding process helps restaurants launch within 10 days from its shared kitchens while embedding operational efficiencies from the start. TFL ensures quality control through the provision of customer feedback reports, third-party food safety audits, and HAACP audits.