UAE foodtech start-up Grubtech expands operations to Egypt

EGYPT – The UAE’s GrubTech, a platform that digitizes the back-end operations of restaurants and cloud kitchens, has expanded to Egypt, further diversifying its regional operations.

Founded in 2019 by Mohamed Al-Fayed, Mohamed Hamidi, and Omar Al-Refaie, Grubtech is a cloud and dark kitchen solutions platform that enables its clients to digitize operations and management of online food orders.

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The platform provides users with marketing and sales tools as well as extends in-detail data analyses for restaurants, contributing to decreasing expenses and catalyzing the growth of their businesses.

It also partners with food delivery aggregators, such as Talabat and Delivery Hero, and serves delivery-centric restaurants and delivery-only cloud kitchens, also known as dark or ghost kitchens.

So far, GrubTech has raised a total of US$18.4 million, including US$2 million in a seed round in 2020, US$3.4 million in a pre-series A round in March of last year, and US$13 million in a Series A in December.

It plans to inject U$5 million into the Egyptian market over the coming 12-18 months, eyeing Egypt as a gateway to African markets, according to Al-Fayed.

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With the expansion, the start-up will have offices in Egypt, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and the UAE with 140 employees, and serves clients in 17 countries.

“I am so pleased to announce the launch of our operations in Egypt, which is one of the most important markets in the region. The food and beverages sector in Egypt is moving on in terms of digitization and growth,” said Al-Fayed, Co-Founder and CEO of Grubtech.

Al-Fayed pointed out that commencing Grubtech’s work in Egypt is a part of the company’s operational expansion plan, adding that the North African market has a significant number of restaurants that offer online ordering and delivery as well as e-payments through PoS systems.

With a population of 103 million and a median age of 25 years, Egypt has enormous potential. Its restaurants have experienced robust growth, with an estimated size of US$17 billion annually, according to Egyptian cloud kitchen services operator The Food Lab.

The Food Lab, which is Egypt’s first cloud kitchen services operator, has raised US$4.5 million in a pre-seed funding round to support its expansion within the country and in the Middle East and Africa region.

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It provides a full suite of end-to-end services, including cloud kitchen (kitchen as a service), procurement, delivery, data-led insights, recommendations, and marketing for restaurants.

Companies operating in the dark kitchen space have seen business pick up as the Covid-19 pandemic pushed the food industry online and established new habits.

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