iKcon, a Dubai-based tech-enabled cloud kitchen as a service operator, has successfully raised a $20M Series A funding. The round was led by regional investment groups including Mohamed Yousuf Naghi Group, AlTouq Group, Derayah Ventures, B&Y Venture Partners, AbdulMohsin Al Houkair Holding Group, and Nazer Group. The successful closing of this round increased iKcon’s total funding to date to $32M.
Khalid Baareh, Co-Founder and CEO, said: “We are thrilled to be backed by leading regional investors and Venture Capital firms that share our vision and actively support our growth. The newly raised funds will be used to accelerate KSA & regional expansion plan, and the development of iKcon’s proprietary technology stack.”
iKcon was founded in Dubai in early 2019, by Khalid Baareh (CEO) and Kareem Abughazaleh (COO), to address the growing demand for food delivery across the Middle East. iKcon is a leading cloud kitchen as-a-service operator that procures, cooks, and delivers food on behalf of restaurants and brand owners. It currently operates 15 cloud kitchens across the UAE and is imminently launching its first cloud kitchen in KSA. The company also plans to enter other countries in the region and is targeting to rapidly grow its network to 50 cloud kitchens in the near future.
Kareem Abughazaleh, Co-Founder & COO, said: “This is a vote of confidence for our team’s relentless efforts to improve our capabilities through an ongoing attention to maintaining brand standards, consistency, and speed. We are constantly reinvesting in our operational excellence & training programs, and we expect to accelerate this as we continue to scale our reach”.
“Given our extensive experience in the F&B sector, we are excited and thrilled about our investment in what we believe to be the leading cloud kitchen solution provider in the region, led by a passionate and highly experienced team. The iKcon model is the future of the F&B industry with superior growth potentials. We are ready and proud to play an active role in the supporting iKcon’s growth story especially in penetrating the KSA market,” said Sheikh Mohamed Yousuf Naghi, Chairman of MYN Group
“We are laser-focused on further developing our technology to accelerate the evolution of data analytics, process automation, and AI as a key differentiator in how we operate in our fast-growing sector. The food delivery space is a growing rapidly and we are proud of our significant contribution towards our partners’ ambitions of growing their customer base and expanding their brand reach,” Khalid added.
The food delivery industry is growing at an exponential rate and estimated to reach $360 billion by 2030. The regional dynamics are very attractive with young demographics, high mobile penetration and fast adoption of online food delivery, making the MENA’s food delivery market among the fastest growing the world. The current pandemic has proved the resiliency of the food delivery business.
“We are big believers in the unique business model the team behind iKcon has built which perfectly fits Derayah’s mission of backing innovative business models run by driven founders. Technological innovation tackling all industries is the new norm and we truly believe the future of the rapidly transforming F&B sector is here. We are long-term partners and ready to support the management team to achieve their growth and technology plans,” said Faris AlRashed, Chairman of the Board at Derayah Ventures.
With +650 employees, iKcon’s family is comprised of strong and diverse management team with extensive prior experience at leading regional and international institutions. iKcon currently partners with 70+ well-known regional and international restaurant partners such as Pinza, German Doner & Kebab, Wingsters, Salmontini, and Monkey Cookies to name a few with many more in the pipeline going live soon.
“The cloud kitchen space is an exciting industry that is poised for growth alongside the food delivery market which continues to benefit from Covid19 tailwinds. At iKcon, B&Y is backing a hyper exceptional team - led by Khalid and Kareem - that we believe can build a dominant business in this space, thanks to superior technology and strong focus on delivering profitable growth,” said Abdallah Yafi, Founder and Managing Partner at B&Y Venture Partners.