Dubai: One of the biggest names in the UAE’s ’cloud kitchen’ sace, Kitopi has raised $415 million through a Series C round, pulling in Japan’s Softbank Vision Fund 2 and DisruptAD. The additional funds will fuel further expansion within the Middle East and support entry into Southeast Asia.
Cloud kitchen operators put up massive industrial-size facilities to prepare the menu needs of bother brick-and-mortar F&B operators and, increasingly, virtual-only brands.
For Softbank Vision Fund, this is the first investment in a UAE headquartered company. The Fund is part of Japanese entrepreneur - and one of the world's richest men - Masayoshi Son's many interests.
The other major investor is DisruptAD, which is Abu Dhabi company ADQ’s venture capital platform. Its activities include investments in start-ups and venture capital funds, as well as the creation of new incubators and accelerators to support Abu Dhabi’s evolution as a global start-up destination. The platform aims to support and nurture over 1,000 start-ups by 2025.
Kitopi, which stands for 'Kitchen Utopia', was founded in January 2018 by Mohamad Ballout (CEO), Saman Darkan (Chief Technology Officer), Bader Ataya (Chief Growth Officer) and Andy Arenas (Chief Property Officer. Headquartered in Dubai, UAE, Kitopi currently has a workforce of 2,500 spread in four markets, in addition to Krakow, Poland where its engineering hub is located. It operates 60 plus cloud kitchens across the UAE, KSA, Kuwait and, more recently, Bahrain.