CEO Series

Startups Gobbling Startups—Dahmakan Takes In A Thai Platform As Their Entrée To Asia

  • As part of their expansion strategy, dahmakan acquired end-to-end healthy food delivery startup Polpa for their entry into Bangkok. 
  • Polpa’s founders have been integrated into dahmakan’s executive team.
  • If there is an existing business that aligns with them in a region, dahmakan will choose to partner with them by leveraging on their existing market in exchange for technology support and scaling. 

Since their most recent successful funding round amounting to US$2.6 million, dahmakan made good on their plans for expansion. The team revealed that they are moving into three new regions in 2018, starting with Bangkok.

Editor’s note: we’ve updated the figure above to reflect the accurate amount raised.

The food delivery scene in Thailand is shaping up, with big players like UberEats, GoJek, foodpanda and others making aggressive pushes towards their own slice of the local market.

The Thais are said to have a relationship with food similar to Malaysia, which was perhaps why dahmakan chose this market as step one in their regional plans.

“Bangkok has millions of office workers; high urban density and a lack of convenient food delivery options which makes it an attractive market,” said Jonathan Weins in a press release,  co-founder of dahmakan.

“We believe it will become our fastest growing market in a matter of months.” 

To hit the ground running in a competitive market, dahmakan has acquired local player Polpa.

The match here is obvious. Polpa designs, cooks, and delivers healthy meals to suit the office or condominium environment. It plans weekly menus centered around healthy recipes and ingredients, intending to make healthy food convenient in Bangkok.

Screenshot of Polpa’s website.

Polpa already has a certain degree of familiarity and market trust within the region, while dahmakan will be bringing their existing artificial intelligence self-learning technology—also known as the DIOS—to help manage their fleet of riders and customer demand.

DIOS leverages on 24 different AI components, which makes routing decisions based on real-time data. The data is collected live through their riders, and also supplemented with customer, weather and traffic information.

Image Credit: dahmakan

Polpa has been part of dahmakan since the 1st of March. In the upcoming weeks, dahmakan will be integrating their artificial intelligence platform with Polpa.

Polpa will continue in Bangkok under its original name, because dahmakan sees no reason to rock the boat. Polpa has already built brand recognition and a loyal customer base in Thailand.

Thanks to the acquisition, Polpa’s founders Dr. Julian Timings and Prongfa Uennatornaranggoon will be joining the dahmakan executive team.

Julian, who used to work in the autonomous vehicle and driver modelling area of Formula 1, will be lending his expertise into the dahmakan AI-powered logistics platform.

While Prongfa, who was a regional manager and buyer with experience in a famous food chain in the UK, will now be heading dahmakan’s Food Product team—in the hopes of adding zest to dahmakan’s current menu.

In a robust market, dahmakan’s strategy for growth is making friends.

With plans to expand into Jakarta and Hong Kong by Q2 and Q3, we wondered—will strategic acquisitions be dahmakan’s way forward towards expansion into these regions as well?

We forwarded this question to Jessica Li, co-founder of dahmakan who said:

“We are definitely seeing a lot more of acquisitions happening internationally in the food delivery space and the advantages of such partnerships”.

“Where there is an existing business in our target market who is aligned, we will partner with them to provide our technology and support them to scale quickly,” said Jessica.

Since the company does have full control over everything from cooking to delivery, its focus is on building operational expertise in scaling food production, and their AI-powered logistics to bring more efficiency into how they do things—and thus be able to promise more accurate timeframes to customers.

This focus has extended into Polpa as well.

It seems like part of dahmakan’s expansion strategy will be a quid pro quo—they will offer their technological advantage to local players, while in return, get local insight and an already established customer-base for their efforts.

The fact that Polpa will effectively act as dahmakan’s operational arm in Thailand might help reduce the brunt of acquisition pains that sometimes follow these types of mergers, but only time will tell if this merger will yield the expected benefits.

For now though, between the very similar vision and combination of expertise, this acquisition does seem like a very hearty step for dahmakan’s dreams of a regional stronghold in the healthy food delivery business.

  • You can find more about dahmakan and their services on their website

Feature Image Credit: dahmakan

 

Subscribe to Vulcan Post Newsletter

Stay updated with our weekly curated news and updates.