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London Tech Week

Not So Dark gets served with $80M to help smaller restaurants scale digitally

Not So Dark, a Paris-based food tech startup, has raised $80M in Series B funding, led by Kharis Capital and Verlinvest, in partnership with Conviviality Ventures.

The investment will enable the company to expand its fast-growing virtual food delivery franchise model across Europe. The latest round brings Not So Dark’s total funding to $105M.

Online global food delivery surged at a rate of 33% CAGR during the pandemic to represent an estimated $43B. The industry is projected to grow further at a rate of 10% CAGR over the next five years.

Virtual delivery brand

Founded in 2020 by Clement Benoit and Alexandre Haggai, Not So Dark is a tech-driven virtual delivery brand. Its virtual franchise model allows brick-and-mortar restaurants to run a busy digital online delivery business from their existing kitchens.

These smaller restaurants get a digital franchise that runs seamlessly in the background, adjacent to their traditional business, to leverage their existing infrastructure and optimise profitability.

Simultaneously, delivery platforms get access to new, on-trend offerings in smaller cities, giving them the ability to scale. Not So Dark currently counts 100 tech-and food-focused employees and is experiencing exceptional growth.

Why Not So Dark?

With this model, restaurants get everything they need to succeed – from a digital ordering system, effortless turnkey operations, a platform that continuously optimises business performance, built-in marketing that runs around the clock, and strong unit economics.

The company has already secured a portfolio of 150 partners that operate in more than 100 cities and is generating millions in monthly revenue.

NSD’s built-in data analytics platform is driven by machine learning capabilities that are hyperresponsive to price, demand, and competition changes. Further, the company’s dedicated R&D team continuously optimizes menus to meet market demand through original brands like Vegedal, Como Kitchen, Coquillettes, JFK Burgers, and Gaïa Pita.

According to Clément Benoit, says “Pivoting and starting from zero was a massive undertaking. But we saw so clearly that the future of the online delivery industry was in forging partnerships with traditional restaurants – not competing with them. We’re honored that our initial investors trusted our vision. The new funding will strengthen our market leadership in France and scale across Europe at a very fast pace.”

Daniel Grossman, Managing Partner of Kharis Capital, “We’ve studied the dark kitchens market and watched its rapid development. We believe NSD cracked the model that essentially allows all parties involved to profitably grow their business while offering customers alternative and convenient food offerings. In just one year, Not So Dark has already established itself as a major figure in the sector. We are pleased to accompany the founders of this French gem in this new stage of its growth towards European leadership.”

Raphael Thiolon, Executive Director at Verlinvest, adds, “Clem, Alex, and the Not So Dark team are building a unique platform that adds tremendous value to the whole food delivery ecosystem: a greater choice of exciting brands and high-quality meal options for consumers; additional volumes and profits for restaurants at no extra cost or complexity; and extensive new supply for food delivery players – enabling them to broaden their offer, especially outside of big cities. In addition, they’re using technology, R&D, and disruptive marketing to improve consumers’ food habits, which is at the core of Verlinvest’s investment strategy. We’re thrilled to welcome Not So Dark into our portfolio and to help them build the dominant virtual brand platform in Europe.”

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