Foodtech platform Orda raises US$3.4m in seed round to digitise African restaurants

NIGERIA – Orda, a restaurant management startup, has raised a US$3.4 million seed round to further digitise food businesses across the continent.

The seed round, which was co-led by Quona Capital and FinTech Collective, also saw participation from institutional investors including Far Out Ventures and Outside VC, angels Doneci Kone and Julian Shapiro, and follow-on investment from Norrsken Foundation, Lofty Inc Capital and Enza Capital.

The round follows its previous raise of US$1.1 million earlier this year, bringing its total clinched financing in 2022 to US$4.5 million.

Founded by Guy Futi, Fikayo Akinwale, Mark Edomwande, Kunle Ogungbamila, and Namir El-Khouri in 2020, Orda’s vision is to help small-sized African restaurants optimise their business and achieve sustainable growth.

Small independent restaurants are the soul of Africa’s food service industry, representing the largest segment of the US$50 billion industry.

However, these restaurants have had limited access to technology solutions tailored to their needs.

Orda’s array of products and services includes kitchen display systems, order and inventory management, integrations with the leading food aggregators (e.g. Glovo, Bolt Food, Chowdeck, Jise, Wabi2b, etc), accounting software, microsites, mobile apps and—soon to come—lending.

The company also provides them with advanced business analytics that informs them of customer behaviour, which in turn helps with inventory optimization and loss prevention.

Speaking on Orda’s focus on small restaurants, Guy Futi, Orda’s CEO and co-founder said, “From day one, Orda has been focused on building solutions for small and medium-sized restaurants.

“These businesses operate with slim profit margins and the power of Orda’s software and financial solutions can catapult their business. Our goal is to provide end-to-end solutions that help them optimise their operations so they become more prosperous.”

Since its first fundraising announcement in January, Orda has grown its customer base to more than 600 restaurants across Nigeria and Kenya and is now processing over 50,000 orders weekly for its vendors, 5x what it recorded as of this January, with its gross merchandise value (GMV) increasing 30% month-on-month.

This growth, the company says, is due to an obsession with helping small and medium-sized restaurants run their businesses better.

Building solutions for African restaurants has required certain considerations specific to the region.

For example, despite being a primarily cloud-based solution, Orda’s application works offline allowing restaurants to continue to log data even when internet access is unavailable — the data syncs with the cloud application when the restaurant is back online.

The cloud operating software has also been built to have maximum functionality even when there is spotty internet service.

Following the progress in the last 12 months, Orda believes it has hit product-market fit, evidenced by the rapid rate of adoption, rising referrals, and increasing ease of onboarding new restaurants.

“We have a huge backlog of restaurants to onboard and we’re confident of reaching 1,000 active restaurants within the next three months,” said Afua Ahwoi, Head of Operations at Orda.

With the recently completed fundraise, Orda has vertical expansion in sight, as it looks to improve its payments, credit and lending solutions, helping customers unlock even more value from their businesses.

“Focusing solely on restaurants has given us deeper insights into how they are run and what their financial behavior is.

“We believe we can accurately predict when a restaurant needs a cash injection or a small loan and are looking to work with partners who can provide those services,” said Futi.

The platform already processes payments for 10% of its vendors, according to Futi, and might begin a major rollout by Q2 next year.

Building and scaling out its payments feature is one of the food tech’s objectives with this new investment. Others include expanding its network of restaurants and continuing its pan-African expansion drive (into South Africa and much later, Ivory Coast).

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