The Food Lab (TFL), an Egyptian cloud kitchen services provider led by entrepreneur Kareem El-Daly, has raised $4.5 million in pre-seed funding from institutional investors as it seeks to expand its presence in domestic and regional markets.
TFL’s recent funding is consistent with the company’s strategic expansion plans, which include scaling operations across Egypt – its domestic market – while also driving regional expansion as demand for food deliveries recovers.
TFL was founded in 2020 by El Daly, Ahmed Osman and Wesam Masoud to investigate gaps in the restaurant industry and deploy technology to assist restaurants and food brands in generating a return on investment while maintaining service quality.
After two years of bootstrapping, the company has raised $4.5 million in pre-seed financing and has partnered with about 50 local and international restaurant brands in the country to help their businesses grow through its full suite of end-to-end services, which includes cloud kitchen (kitchen as a service) and procurement.
The pre-seed funding round was co-led by Nuwa Capital, Shorooq Partners and 4DX Ventures, a pan-African venture capital fund. Other investors in the round included Saudi Arabia’s Al Faisaliah Group and Abdul Majeed Al Hokair, as well as Japan’s Samurai Incubate.
TFL is offering restaurant owners a solution to the problems posed by the country’s recent trend of de-urbanization, which makes it very difficult for a restaurant to reach any meaningful percentage of a given population, according to Ghassan Noursi, venture lead at Nuwa Capital, a key investor in TFL’s recently completed funding round.
El Daly, the company’s founder and president of TFL, revealed that the fund will be used to take over the Egyptian market, particularly Cairo and some key governorates where the startup hopes to have a strong presence.
“This is the geographical expansion part; otherwise, we have plans to hire for some community roles and operational positions.” And the third thing is that we will continue to develop our technology solutions for our customers, partners, and customers,” he said.
“Together with our new investors, we look forward to building on our leadership position to expand across Egypt,” Ahmed Osman, co-founder CEO of TFL, said. “We are also excited to lay the groundwork for expansion to new markets in the Middle East and Africa, which will unlock growth opportunities for restaurants.”