The Food Lab (TFL), Egypt’s first cloud kitchen services operator, has announced the successful completion of a $4.5 million pre-seed funding round.
Nuwa Capital, Shorooq Partners, and 4DX Ventures co-led this round, which included investors from all over the world. Saudi Arabia’s Al Faisaliah Group and Abdul Majeed Al Hokair, as well as Japan’s Samurai Incubate and other angel investors, participated in the pre-seed round.
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. With The Food Lab, existing restaurant owners can grow exponentially, while new brands can go from concept to launch within just 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. Additionally, customers can benefit from easy access to 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. Job creation in the form of strategic hires remains a key priority alongside the further development of our technology. 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.”
The restaurant industry across Egypt has witnessed robust growth with an estimated size of $17 billion annually. According to market data, Egyptians spend about 30% of their income on food and the adoption of new technologies will allow restaurateurs to scale growth rapidly.
Tamer Azer, Partner, Shorooq Partners said, “As investors, infrastructure is in our DNA. The Food Lab is first and foremost an infrastructure company that allows the restaurants we love, to grow and reach more people by giving them access to absolutely everything they need to succeed, from best-in-class ingredients to hard data that helps them serve their customers better. In Egypt’s increasingly more competitive food market, The Food Lab is the best success partner a restaurateur could ever want.”
The TFL platform enables scalable growth opportunities for restaurants through a technology-based platform. TFL’s technology transforms restaurants into data-driven enterprises, centralising company data in one simple platform. Restaurant managers can have easy access to reporting and benchmarking tools, an insights platform, customer segmentation and marketing tools, and measure growth against industry KPIs.
Ghassan Noursi, Venture Lead, Nuwa Capital said, “The Food Lab is offering restaurant owners a solution to the problems posed by the country’s recent trend of de-urbanization, which makes it very difficult for a restaurant to reach any meaningful percentage of a given population. TFL’s founders have really put together an amazing team to help the company scale nationwide, and their singular commitment to improving customer satisfaction is one that I am confident will lead to an ever-improving product stack.”
“TFL has an incredibly strong founding team with a diverse set of world class skills. They have a big vision for how their platform can revolutionize the food industry in Egypt, and the quality of their products and the fast growth speaks to their ability to translate their talent into results. We’re really excited to be on this journey with them.” Peter Orth, Managing Partner, 4DX Ventures.
TFL’s comprehensive onboarding process enables restaurants to open within 10 days from TFL’s shared kitchens while also establishing operational efficiencies from the beginning. TFL democratizes consumer feedback reports, third-party food safety, and HAACP audits to provide quality control.