Cloud kitchens – also known as ghost kitchens or shared kitchens – provide restaurant owners and food entrepreneurs with a low cost commercial kitchen space for food delivery and takeout. This trend is revolving around the restaurant industry. More food entrepreneurs are turning to cloud kitchens to reduce their operating costs and capture the explosive growth of food delivery.
A Manila-headquartered startup called CloudEats, which operates cloud kitchens in the Philippines and Vietnam, has raised a $7 million Series A extension led by Nordstar to accelerate the digitization of food service in Southeast Asia.
On the back of its successful launch in Vietnam earlier this year, the startup plans to enter Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia in 2023, co-founder and CEO Kimberly Yao said in an interview.
“The huge growth of our Vietnam business over the past two quarters is very encouraging,” Yao said. “We are working out best practices with key learnings for our next market launch.”
The cloud kitchen market in Asia is projected to grow at 14.2% annually from 2021 to 2027; The food delivery market in Southeast Asia is expected to reach $49.7 billion by 2030, up from $15.2 billion in 2021.
The startup had seven cloud kitchen locations in the Philippines when it established its Series A in October 2021; It now operates 25 ghost kitchens in the Philippines and Vietnam, Yao told TechCrunch. According to Yao, its volume in revenue has increased 4 times from October last year to April this year.
The latest funding will also enable CloudEats to grow its brand, grow its team, and double its investment in shared kitchen technology.
CloudEats co-founder Iacopo Rovere said the company’s main focus over the next 12 months will be to advance its suite of integrated SaaS solutions for food service and strengthen brand building and marketing efforts. It now has more than 30 brands in the Philippines and over 20 in Vietnam, including Burger Beast, 24/7 Eats, Sulite Chicken, Piaz Kitchen and Healthy Appetite, and is expanding its portfolio.
CloudEats has a hybrid cloud kitchen and cloud restaurant model, where the company is not only an operator of the infrastructure, but also digitally owns native brands.
“Today, we own and operate over 50 online customized restaurant brands, which we create and manage exclusively in the Philippines and Vietnam,” Yao told TechCrunch. “Our proprietary Smart Kitchen technology integrated with the food delivery platform allows us to rapidly scale and grow the business.”
Yao, a serial entrepreneur with over ten years of experience in retail R&D and on-demand e-commerce, co-founded CloudEats in 2019 with Ecopo Rover, former CEO of Foodpanda, who has an extensive background in food delivery service in Berlin and India. CloudEats says it has placed over 2.5 million orders.
With its previous round of $5 million, Latest Capital brings its total funding to $14 million.
“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 Cloud Eats,” said Nordstar Principal Kimberly Ong. “Cloudeats generates the best brand and kitchen level economics we have seen in the market, and this is all due not only to the company’s sophisticated technology and operations backbone but the team’s unparalleled data and partnership driven approach to brand building.” is also.”