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Grubtech raises $3.4 million to expand its all in one SaaS platform for cloud kitchens in the MENA

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Grubtech team group photo (Source: Grubtech)

Grubtech, an all in one SaaS platform for cloud kitchens and delivery-centric restaurants – has secured $3.4 million pre–Series A funding. Investors included large regional family offices, a US-based venture capital firm as well as reputable angel investors. Having already deployed its solution across hundreds of brands and processed hundreds of thousands of orders, grubtech will use the funds to further accelerate product development and capitalize on increased demand from MENA, Europe and the Americas.

The F&B sector is rapidly transforming driven by strong demand for online food delivery that has been catalyzed by the pandemic.  This has forced restauranteurs to adapt their business models to focus on delivery, mainly through food aggregators such as Talabat, Deliveroo and Hunger Station. In addition, it has accelerated the growth of cloud kitchens around the world. Grubtech has been purpose built to cater to the digital transformation of the F&B sector by building an end-to-end operating system that tackles the friction points arising from operating a high-volume food delivery business and unlocks the ability to serve multiple delivery-only brands from a single location. Grubtech’s fast growing client base include large cloud kitchens and restaurant groups in the MENA region and abroad. The start-up is releasing a self-serve version for smaller chains shortly as it looks to power the next generation of champions in the food delivery space.

“Grubtech has built a pioneering tech stack which is trailblazing advancements in the growing online food delivery and cloud kitchen space. We are incredibly excited about Grubtech’s growth potential globally.” said a syndicate of private investors in the MENA region, led by Ghassan Oueida and Gry Loseth.

Grubtech solves for the fragmented rest-tech landscape by integrating with third parties like food aggregators, logistics providers, points-of-sale solutions and ERPs. Its product streamlines operations with the goal of maximizing kitchen utilization, reducing the order to doorbell journey whilst reducing costs.

“Unlike other players in the market that focus on solving one of many pain points, Grubtech has built an all-in-one platform, reducing friction points across the order lifecycle. Given our extensive experience investing in the F&B sector, we are big believers in the need for Grubtech’s solution and understand the magnitude of the problems it is solving.” said AbdulMohsen Ibrahim AlTouq, CEO of AlTouq Group.

Grubtech’s solution serves different business models including cloud kitchens, multi-brand single location models and delivery-centric restaurants. The solution is also being used by owners of underutilized real estate such as hotels and gas stations that are creating their own cloud kitchens.

“Grubtech has been a key partner of ours in the launch and operation of our first cloud kitchen in the region,” said Joe Frem, Vice President of Cloud Kitchens and Concepts at Talabat (Delivery Hero).

“Deployed within days, it provides our tenants with the tools necessary to efficiently operate multiple brands out of one location, thereby maximizing kitchen capacity and order throughout.”

The platform provides restaurant owners the ability to quickly and efficiently serve multiple brands from one location, creating what is known as micro cloud kitchens, and maximizing revenue from existing supply chains and resources.

“Grubtech has automated otherwise manual and time-consuming progresses for us, from order receipt to delivery. This has enabled us to create micro cloud kitchens within our existing real estate footprint to serve multiple virtual brands we’ve created from one location.” said Rodolph Njeim, CCO of Eathos.

By centralizing capabilities, providing visibility into all critical events across the order lifecycle, and supplementing it with advanced analytics, grubtech has helped its customers reduce click-to-doorbell time by 20% and save approximately 25% of manpower costs.

“Grubtech’s user-friendly and intuitive interface meant that our staff required minimal training,” said Hilmar Venter, the Regional F&B Delivery Manager of the Azadea Group.

“The ability to centrally manage our menus and disable unavailable menu items and modifiers directly from the kitchen display system has helped reduce human errors, order cancellations, and eliminate time wasted making updates across various tablets. We’ve also significantly reduced order acceptance time by receiving all orders on one screen. By operating more efficiently, with cost savings, we are able to better serve our customers and increase repeat orders.”

“Grubtech has built a unique business focused on solving a global problem for the rapidly transforming F&B sector.” said Asif Keshodia, former CFO of Amazon MENA and an angel investor.

“The clients they have signed on thus far and the interest garnered from cloud kitchens and restaurants around the world is a testament to the strength of Grubtech’s technology.” According to CEO Mohamed Al Fayed,

“We are still in the early stages of the digitization of the F&B sector, akin to e-commerce 10 years ago. The operations of high volume, multi-branded and omnichannel sales are complex, and so Grubtech has been built with a deep focus on our customers’ pain points today, and anticipated issues and opportunities of the future.”

“We are fortunate to be working with some of the largest and more innovative players in the sector who have provided us with a great customer feedback loop,” continued Al Fayed, “We are proud to be local and privileged to be global.”

Grubtech

 

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Press Release

Journey Wellness, an AI-Enabled, Personalised Healthcare Platform Launches in South Africa

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Journey Wellness Co-Founders, Dr. Jacques Ludik and Lara Wayburne (Image: Nomsa Mdhluli)

Journey Wellness, an AI-Enabled, Personalised Healthcare Platform set to Revolutionize Wellness & Healthcare in South Africa. The Platform will transform business employee benefits and medical schemes’ approach to offering wellness for employees and medical aid members.

A revolutionary new approach to offering Ultra-Personalised, Artificial Intelligence-Enabled Healthcare from tech-trendsetting company Cortex Logic is set to transform the way medical aid schemes, consumers and corporates offering employee benefits as part of their EAP (Employee Assistance Programmes) view their current healthcare offering.

The Journey Wellness platform is perfectly timed to coincide with the current global shift in Healthcare, as the focus moves from a disease-management model to one that encourages optimum health and disease-avoidance, targeting younger as well as existing members with a holistic, pro-active offering.

Corporates and medical schemes are realising that they need to offer their employees and members wellness and EAP benefits that move beyond expensive, reactive, chemical care to cost-effective, proactive preventative primary care.

“Globally, an ever-increasing portion of healthcare spend and focus is shifting to promote wellness and wellbeing, rather than responding to illness,” says Lara Wayburne, a respected Healthcare Actuary consulting to Cortex Logic and part of the development team of the Journey Wellness Platform.

“Healthcare analysts predict that over the coming decade the focus on wellness and wellbeing can reduce overall healthcare costs by as much as 30%.”

“Journey Wellness enables that future by empowering and engaging consumers to better understand the drivers that impact their health and therefore be more actively involved in managing their own health. By doing so, the Journey Wellness ecosystem encourages positive health seeking behaviour, promoting better physical and mental health,” says Wayburne.

The driving force behind Journey Wellness, Dr Jacques Ludik, Founder and CEO of Cortex Logic, who has also recently written a book called ‘Democratizing Artificial Intelligence to Benefit Everyone’, says that the Journey Wellness platform will provide more healthcare, to more people, faster.

“Essentially, Journey is a cost-effective, pro-active, personalised and engaged AI health companion that will improve health outcomes for everyone involved – the medical scheme provider, employers, employees, healthcare providers and ultimately the end-user consumer who will benefit from personalised, proactive healthcare with the added benefits of cost savings all-round,” says Dr Ludik.

Journey Wellness offers a number of benefits for Medical Schemes, Corporates and End-Users:

Employer Groups and Medical Scheme providers will benefit from the cost savings inherent in moving from expensive, reactive, chemical care to cost-effective, proactive preventative primary care for their members and employees. This will result in increased productivity, increased employee engagement, reduced absenteeism and cost-savings to all involved.

Healthcare Providers will benefit from having a 360-degree view of their patients that will improve wellness proactively without costly chemical intervention, usually at the reactive stage and will also empower patients with continuous self-care.

And, Consumers will benefit from a Holistic Wellness Solution and the reduced need for expensive healthcare options, improved wellbeing, rewards for engagement and ultimately having a personalised wellness coach on hand at all times to help them understand their health status and associated risks and better manage their health and improve quality of life.

“Overall, it’s a win-win scenario in which technology, data and analytics foster a collaborative and progressive healthcare environment, creating an ecosystem for improved wellbeing one step at a time that benefits everyone,” says Wayburne.

Journey Wellness has also made an exciting announcement around making the Platform’s Mental Health Module available for free to users from 1 September 2021.

“We realise that the current state of affairs globally, and in South Africa in particular, with pandemic lockdowns and economic uncertainty foremost on our minds, places an enormous amount of pressure on people. So, we’re offering free access to our Mental Health Module to users, where they can access an AI-enabled mental health companion 24/7,” says Dr Ludik.

The Journey Wellness Demo Platform for Corporate Employers and Medical Schemes is available at www.journeywellness.co.za, and for Consumers, the User App is available as a free download for Android and iOS devices at Google Play and App Store. Medical schemes and Employers looking to offer Journey Wellness to their members can interact directly with Journey Wellness by requesting a demo via the website.

 

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Investment

Chaka secures $1.5M pre-seed round to power digital investments and wealth management opportunities across Africa

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Chaka CEO, Tosin Osibodu at a press briefing (Image & Press Release: Chaka)

Chaka is thrilled to announce its $1.5M pre-seed funding round led by Breyer Capital, a global venture firm focused on catalyzing growth in high-impact companies like Spotify, Facebook, and now, Chaka. Other participants in the round are 4DX Ventures, Golden Palm Investments, Future Africa, Seedstars, and Musha Ventures.

Chaka is a technology solutions company on a mission to enable every business and person in Africa to access borderless digital investment and wealth management opportunities. The team combines investment expertise and best-in-class technology to provide reliable digital Investing, trading and wealth management solutions that are easy-to-use and easy-to-integrate.

Their mission is to enable digital border-less investing for African businesses and individuals. They’re powering the digital investment landscape in Africa through partnerships with asset managers, financial technology firms, and regulators with whom we have a shared mission. We achieve this by providing trading solutions that are easy to use and easy to integrate.

With this capital, they will focus on the goals to build a roster of formidable partners and accelerate expansion to other markets within West Africa. This investment also enables them to hire top talent and integrate more advanced functionalities into our investment and wealth management solutions.

Jim Breyer, CEO of Breyer Capital, shared his view on this investment and it illustrates their shared vision: “We are proud to align ourselves with a company that is leveling the investment playing field for Nigerians (and Africans at large). We’re confident in the value Chaka provides through its digital tools, and we look forward to playing our part in supporting Tosin, Bo, Olaolu, and the Chaka team.”

This is a significant milestone for Chaka and could not have come this far without their users, partners, early investors, and a talented, achieving team of Champions.

They see digital investments as a means to boost economic transformation in Africa, and we’re very keen to bring this vision to life.

 

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Manufacturing

Emmanuel Penneh set to lead the Ghanaian team that will re-assemble the first Nissan Navara made in Ghana

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Emmanuel Penneh (Image: Lusawovana Pius- edelman) 

Emmanuel Penneh arrived back in Accra this week, ready to start the next phase of a journey that’s taken three years so far and still has an intensive eight months to run. On Thursday 3 June 2021, the married 44-year-old father of three graduated with his team of 11 Ghanaians from an intense eight-week course at Nissan South Africa’s Rosslyn manufacturing plant outside Pretoria. That was just the first step for them. Now the hard work begins, getting Ghana’s brand-new Nissan assembly plant in Tema, outside Accra, ready to begin re-assembling the first ever Nissan Navaras to be built in Africa early in the New Year.

The graduation is a critical milestone in a process that began back in 2018 with the signing of the landmark Memorandum of Understanding between Nissan and the Government of Ghana, followed by the drafting and promulgation of Ghana’s automotive development policy the following year and then the appointment of Japan Motors Trading Company (JMTC), as Nissan’s preferred partner last year to ensure that the new facility will be 100% Ghana owned and run.

Penneh is up for the challenge. Speaking at the special graduation ceremony held at the Rosslyn, SKD plant, he said he and his team were proud and honoured, excited and delighted. “This is a historic evolution for Nissan Ghana, Nissan South Africa and Nissan worldwide. This is the plant where the Nissan Navara is being made for the first time in Africa, by Africans for Africa, now we are going home to re-assemble the first Navara made in Ghana for Ghana by Ghanaians!”

Penneh will be the plant manager. It’s a feather in the cap for the 10-year JMTC veteran. Before being approached to lead the team, Penneh was service co-ordinator for the group’s aftersales operations, overseeing five workshops across Ghana. He’s been in the automotive industry for 14 years, with four years at Man Truck Ghana before he joined JMTC.

“It’s exciting,” he says, “it gives a new dimension to my career. After concentrating on the after sales aspect, I’m now coming into the industry that actually builds the vehicles.”

The eight-week training that the team underwent in South Africa had been gruelling, he said, they had no idea what to expect. “It was challenging coming fresh into this industry and discovering so many processes and rules and mastering them, but it’s been exciting.”

He’s exceptionally proud of the team he led to South Africa and the way they’ve conducted themselves. “This (the creation of a Nissan assembly plant in Ghana) is going to be a game changer for ourselves, but also for our country, creating jobs, upskilling people and creating opportunities for local brand ownership.”

 

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