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London Tech Week

Female-led CloudEats gulps $7M to expand cloud kitchens across the Philippines and Vietnam

CloudEats team
Image credits: CloudEats

The food delivery market is booming all over the world, and technology is helping these companies up their business model. We recently saw Weee! grab $425 million for its AI-based food delivery business. The Southeast Asian market worth $15 billion is no different from the rest of the world. It is expected to reach $50 billion by 2030, as per a recent report by Frost & Sullivan. Also, Euromonitor has shared that they project the cloud kitchen industry to be a $1 trillion global opportunity by 2030.

$7M funding from Nordstar

CloudEats, a Southeast Asian cloud restaurant startup, has raised $7 million in a fresh funding round led by Nordstar, a London-based VC that has also backed market-leading cloud kitchen players, including Kitopi in MENA and Curefoods in India. To date, CloudEats has now raised a total of $14 million as it sets out to revolutionise a massive yet highly traditional food service industry.

Following its successful launch in Vietnam, CloudEats is looking forward to opening in its third market in the first half of 2023. The company is also doubling down on its smart kitchen technology, expanding its development team’s capabilities, and onboarding crucial talent in brand and marketing.

Apart from regional expansion, funds raised in this round will be utilised to further develop its category-winning brands such as Burger Beast, 24/7 Eats, and Sulit Chicken. It is a value-driven chicken brand that has now become its top brand by order volume.

“As a global investor in the cloud kitchen space, we are capturing the white space in Southeast Asia’s food delivery market through our investment in CloudEats. CloudEats generates the best brand and kitchen-level economics that we have seen in the market, and this is all due to not only the company’s sophisticated technology and operations backbone but also the team’s unique data and partnership-driven approach to brand building. Through the company’s recent expansion to Vietnam, we are already seeing proof points that the successful playbook that the team has built in its home market, the Philippines, is replicable to other markets in the region,” said Kimberley Ong, Principal at Nordstar.

What about the founders’ background?

Cloudeats was founded by Kimberly Yao, a serial entrepreneur with more than 10 years of experience in retail R&D and on-demand e-commerce alongside Iacopo Rovere, former CEO of Foodpanda in 2019. It operates a hybrid cloud kitchen and cloud restaurant model where the company is not only an operator of the infrastructure but also the owner of the digitally native brands.

The Manila-headquartered startup has its presence in the Philippines and Vietnam and has risen to become a major player in the region, serving over 2.5 million orders with its dynamic portfolio of persona-driven, highly innovative cloud restaurants and technology-powered cloud kitchens.

“The massive growth of our Vietnam business over the last two quarters is highly encouraging. We are taking the best practices along with key learnings to our next market launch,” said Co-Founder Kimberly Yao.

“We’ve identified key focus areas in the next twelve months that would include a suite of integrated SaaS solutions for food service as well as intensifying brand building and marketing efforts for our hero and celebrity brands in the form of deeper partnerships with the food delivery platforms, creative offline executions, advanced product innovation, and exploration of new channels,” said Co-Founder Iacopo Rovere.

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