Having restaurant chains that operate in hidden kitchens and serve their customers only through homes throughout Latin America, that is the goal pursued by Foodology, a Colombian startup that shipped its first food order in September 2019, already has a presence in Mexico and is now ready to land in Peru next week.
“Our mission is to be an operational platform that allows us to develop and scale brands in Latin America because here the greatest gastronomic trends end up fragmented. We want to be the only ones able to identify the next trend, be able to operationalize it and take it to the whole region through our kitchens, something like being the McDonald’s of poke, cauliflower pizzas, or whatever the trend is,” said Daniela Izquierdo, CEO and cofounder of Foodology, in an interview with Bloomberg Línea.
On this road, the startup announced this Friday the closing of a US$15 million Series A round led by Andreessen Horowitz and Base Partners. The round also included angel investors such as Instacart president Nilam Ganenthiran, Kavak CEO Carlos Garcia, Ualá CEO Pierpaolo Barbieri, former Burger King president Dich Boyce and Merama CEO Sujay Tyle. Its previous investors, Kayyak Ventures and Jaguar Ventura, also participated.
The capital will be used, according to its founders, to continue with its expansion plans, to cover costs of equipment, kitchens, inventory, technology and personnel.
Currently, the startup has 30 kitchens: 20 in Colombia and 10 in Mexico. In Colombia they are located in Bogota, Cali, Barranquilla, Medellin, Bucaramanga and Cartagena; in Mexico they are in Mexico City and Monterrey; and the most recent kitchen is in Lima, Peru.
But Foodology is hungry for more; it wants more stoves lit in different cities in the region. Its goal now is to open 70 new locations in 12 months. “That will allow us to grow at more than 20% per month. At the same time we want to continue bringing out more brands, whether they are existing restaurants, partnerships or our own, to consolidate our growth,” Juan Guillermo Azuero, also founder of Foodology, told Bloomberg Línea.
But their big bet for 2022 points to Brazil. “We want to be operating in Brazil by January next year,” Izquierdo said, adding that they plan to start in São Paulo.
This closing of funding for the startup brought its total investment raised to date to more than US$20 million. “Having the support of top-tier investors, who have backed globally recognized companies, confirms that Foodology is at the top of the game, successfully leading the foodtech market in the region,” said Izquierdo.
For his part, Azuero indicated that with this round the company is heading towards a stage of accelerated growth.
What is your business model?
Foodology’s kitchens receive daily orders from different brands of restaurants and dozens of home deliveries wait outside to be delivered. Apps such as Rappi, iFood, Uber Eats, Didi, WhatsApp, among others, become every day in their food delivery stations and at the same time in their channels to receive orders. “We believe that in these times brands have to be as multi-channeled as possible,” Azuero said.
Among the brands they have developed are Brunch & Much, a virtual breakfast restaurant; Avocalia, for salads; The Crunch, for pizzas; and Burritos & CO. for Mexican food.
Foodology is at the top of the gameDaniela Izquierdo, cofounder
Not having in-person locations saves the startup the risks of a traditional restaurant, as well as the large amounts of money needed for an initial investment. “Foodology has a flexible business model where if one brand doesn’t work you simply shut it down and try another. It’s a model that allows us to scale very quickly and with very little investment, plus we can sell at all hours of the day. We do not stop, it is a very strong operation,” said Azuero.
After this round of financing, Foodology is ready to continue receiving take-out orders.